18/06/2020 | Writer: Aslı Alpar

Lawyer Polat Yamaner said that the alleged crimes of U.Ş. and B.B., who were subjected to an investigation for their artistic work in a cemetery in Istanbul, did not occur.

“Artwork in the cemetery should be addressed in the scope of freedom of speech” Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

B.B. and U.Ş., who were detained on the night of June 10 due to the legal investigation on their artistic work at a cemetery in İstanbul, were released on June 12.

The artistic work, which became the subject of the investigation, was targeted with the title "Scandalous video in the historical cemetery" by Akit Newspaper.

Polat Yamaner, one of U.Ş. and B.B.'s lawyers, said, "Our clients were detained last night and taken to Çengelköy Police Station. This morning, their testimony was filed by the Prosecutor's Office in the Anadolu Courthouse. Me, Lawyer Onur Sezen and Lawyer Dilara Cındik were present in this time."

“'Publicly insulting the religious values adopted by some part of the community' did not take place”

Lawyer Yamaner explained that the alleged crime did not take place as follows: "The crime attributed to our clients is the 3rd clause of the 216th article of the Turkish Penal Code. The title of this law is 'Inciting the people of hatred and hostility or insulting'. Section 3 of the law says 'Publicly insulting the religious values adopted by a section of the people'. But we don't accept the crime that has been laid on our clients'. We have stated to the prosecutor that there is no criminal element, that the work done there is artistic expression and should be addressed within the scope of freedom of expression."
Att. Yamaner noted that the investigation is still ongoing, "The prosecutor has issued the release of our clients with judicial control measures. Our goal was to release our clients, so we are pleased with the decision. It's important to remember that the investigation is still ongoing. We are monitoring the case".

Harassment in front of the courthouse

Av.Yamaner said that a group of 9-10 people at the exit of the courthouse was taken pictures of their clients in a harassing way: "While we were exiting the courthouse, a group of 9-10 people cut off our way in a harassing manner and took the photographs of our clients."

Translation: Yiğit E. Korkmaz

Tags: human rights, arts and culture