13/10/2021 | Writer: Yıldız Tar

The trial of those who were attacked by the police for carrying the LGBTI+ flags was postponed once again. The lawyers reemphasized that there was no crime, at the hearing.

Once again a postponement at Boğaziçi rainbow trial! Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

Photograph: Boğaziçi LGBTİ+, June 3, 2021, first hearing of the case, Çağlayan Courthose

“Those who protested the detainment of students who protested the detainment of those who protested the detainment of students who protested the disciplinary investigation against a student carrying a rainbow flag at the Boğaziçi University have been detained in front of Çağlayan Courthouse of İstanbul.”

These sentences are a summary of what happened on March 25-26. On March 25, four students were detained in the Hisarüstüstu Neighborhood, which includes Boğaziçi University campus, on the grounds that they were "carrying an LGBTI+ flag". On the same day, there was a disciplinary investigation against a student carrying an LGBTI+ flag during protests against the appointment of the rector of Boğaziçi University, and the students wanted to support their friends. N.D., who raised a rainbow flag during protests attacked by police on February 1, was targeted by a disciplinary investigation that says "you went upstairs and waved the LGBTI+ flag". N.D. was to give a statement in the scope of the investigation on March 25.

The attacks of the police continued in the North Campus, Bebek gate of the university and at the Çağlayan Courthouse on March 26th.

Lawyers: The process is against law, there is no crime

A lawsuit was filed about twelve people detained outside the North Campus on the grounds of “opposition to law on meetings and demonstrations”. The third hearing of the case was held on September 13 at İstanbul 14th Penal Court of First Instance and the case was postponed to January 18, 2022 under color of “collection of evidence”.  

Reminding that the process has begun with an investigation against 4 people who carried rainbow flag lawyer Sevdanur Bayram said: “As the process has begun against law, referring to the fruit of poisonous tree doctrine, the elements of the crime did not occur.” 

Lawyer Eylem Kılıç also underlined that “the elements of the crime did not occur” and she continued: “When we consider both local and international legal precedents we can see that there is nothing to constitute a crime. This is something that has to be evaluated within the freedom of expression.”

And lawyer Av. Yener requested acquittal reminding that the custodies are against law. However, the Court rejected the request and postponed the trial.

What is in the indictment?

The Public Prosecutor's indictment against the students says disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against N.D., who raised a rainbow flag during protests of February 1st, which the police attacked. While the indictment does not include police violence, it criminalizes the rainbow flags in the hands of the students on March 25:

"After they reached the outside sidewalk of the North Campus they opened the LGBTI banners and started to march together, the law enforcement forces stopped them there, the chief law enforcement officers negotiated with them to close down the LGBTI banners..."

Translation: Selma Koçak

Tags: human rights, education