Watch this video, 3.35 min, published on Russia Today RT, April 15, 2013:
Turkish pianist Fazil Say being slapped with a suspended 10-month jail term for a controversial tweet is an example of a “clear trend of abusive prosecutions” in Turkey, Amnesty International researcher Andrew Gardner told RT … //
… RT: The musician has many times been critical of the country’s prime minister, is this case personal?
- AG: The prosecution is not brought on by one individual. It is a state prosecution, as such the state takes the responsibility for it. It is true the criticism of the prime minister has been the subject of criminal prosecutions under Turkey’s anti-defamation laws, and this is another serious problem. In this instance it’s really the Turkish state taking Fazil Say to court, finding him guilty. And it is the state’s responsibility to provide a remedy for this violation.
RT: Muslims make up the majority of Turkey’s society, do you think Say was provocative when sending the tweets?
- AG: It is a provocative statement, and there are many people who will be offended by what he said and do not agree with it. But the right of freedom of expression does not only include those ideas that are popular or uncontroversial. It protects those comments which are controversial and even offensive as well. And this is a clear case of one of those comments. People shouldn’t be prosecuted. And people should be able to take a different approach, certainly, and to disagree with it, and to state that fact. That is not the state of issue that should be taken to court and be convicted.
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