Kurdish activist sentenced to prison in Stuttgart for “PKK membership”

Kurdish activist Kamuran Vesek has been sentenced to two years and seven months imprisonment for PKK membership at the Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart.

The Higher Regional Court of Stuttgart has sentenced the Kurdish activist Kamuran Y. Vesek to two years and seven months imprisonment for membership in a foreign terrorist organization under §§ 129a/b StGB, reported the legal aid fund AZADÎ on Tuesday.

Kamuran Vesek was detained and taken into extradition custody at Zurich Airport on November 1, 2019, at the instigation of federal law enforcement authorities. In June 2020, he was transferred to judicial authorities in Stuttgart. He was accused of acting in a responsible capacity for youth structures in Stuttgart in 2014, including recruiting young people for armed struggle. He is alleged to have been responsible for the Saarland region in 2015 and 2016. In particular - as in the vast majority of such proceedings - it was about the organization of and participation in demonstrations and events, the solicitation of donations and the like.

Conviction based on anonymous statements

Kurdish legal aid fund AZADÎ condemns in particular that the conviction was based on statements of police informants, who could not be summoned to court and questioned by the defense due to state blocking notes: "In the main hearing, only the source leaders of the informants appeared, who then reproduced, mutatis mutandis, what these informants are supposed to have reported to them more than five years ago. Thus, German justice adapted itself apparently to the right standard in Turkey when Kurdish activists were concerned. There, politically active people are continuously sentenced to long prison terms for alleged terror support or terror propaganda on the basis of statements made by 'secret witnesses'."