Campbell: We will appeal to a higher court

Irish journalist Mark Campbell and Kurdish female activist Beritan Slemani were found guilty of "carrying a PKK flag" during a demonstration in London.

The final hearing of the case filed against Irish journalist Mark Campbell and Kurdish women activist Beritan Slemani took place in London on Tuesday. The court found Campbell and Slemani guilty. They were accused of “displaying a flag in such a way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that they were members of a proscribed organisation, namely the PKK,
contrary to section 13(1) and (3) of the Terrorism Act 2000.”

Human rights defender Margaret Oven and a group of members of the Kurdish People's Assembly also attended the hearing to support Campbell and Beritan.

At the end of the hearing, Mark Campbell told ANF: “During our two-day trial we won all the arguments in court giving the context of de-proscription and decriminalisation of the Kurdish movement in relation to holding the flags. The judge seemed to accept our arguments but, sadly, in his verdict, he seemed not confident enough to challenge the government’s policy which is designed in favour of Turkey. So, we now have laws in this country that are politicised in favour of one of the world’s worst human rights abusers.”

Campbell added: “We will be lodging an appeal to a higher court and a more experienced judge immediately and continue to campaign for the decriminalisation of the Kurdish movement which would open a way for conflict resolution of the war between the PKK and the Turkish state.”