Verdict nears in trial of Turkish anti-femicide group
Turkey on Wednesday resumed the trail of an anti-femicide campaign group that prosecutors are trying to shut down on charges of violating administrative laws and “morality”.
Riot police cordoned off Istanbul’s main courthouse and detained two supporters of the We Will Stop Femicide Platform ahead of a likely verdict later Wednesday.
Prosecutors have asked the court to close the group for “acting against the law and morality”.
The group says it was never presented with an explanation about which laws it has allegedly violated and calls the charges politically motivated.
The We Will Stop Femicide Platform has been campaigning against the murder and abuse of women in the mostly Muslim but officially secular nation since 2010.
It turned into a lightning rod for criticism from Islamic conservatives for speaking out against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision in 2021 to pull Turkey out of a European convention aimed at combating violence against women.
More conservative members of Erdogan’s ruling party accused the group of damaging traditional family values by speaking out in defence of LGBTQ rights.
Erdogan branded the LGBTQ community “perverse” and railed repeatedly against their supporters during his May re-election campaign.
The We Will Stop Femicide Platform said 403 women were murdered in Turkey last year and 423 in 2021.
Its prosecution has alarmed human rights groups that have long accused Erdogan of backsliding on democratic norms.
Turkey this year reaffirmed its commitment to resume long-stalled negotiation to join the European Union.
But the bloc’s enlargement commissioner said on a visit to Ankara this month that Brussels needed to see tangible progress on Turkey’s commitment to “democracy and the rule of law”.
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