Turkish dissident vows to fight on after life sentence overturned
Turkish dissident sociologist Pinar Selek vowed to fight on after Turkey's highest appeals court on Wednesday overturned a life sentence for her alleged involvement in a 1998 explosion that killed seven people.
"The fight continues because they have only cancelled the sentence," she told AFP by telephone from Strasbourg in France, where she has political asylum.
She said the case would now return for retrial at an Istanbul court. "I must still wait for my definitive acquittal," she said.
Selek, 43, known for her critical studies of the Kurdish conflict in Turkey and work with street children, was accused of bombing a spice market popular with tourists in Istanbul.
When she refused to give police the names of rebels she had met during her research, they claimed she was a member of the Kurdish separatist group PKK and jailed her at age 27.
She was freed in 2000 after a report blamed the explosion on a gas leak. Turkish courts acquitted her three times and primary witnesses have retracted their testimony that she was involved.
But the case was re-opened again in 2012 and she was sentenced to life imprisonment for "terrorism" a year later.
"This is not a victory after what they have made me suffer, these years of torture. I need this torture to end," she told AFP.
"It was obvious that I should be acquitted. They convicted me illegally. We can never have faith in the judicial authorities in Turkey."
Selek fled Turkey for Berlin in 2009 and gained political asylum in France in 2013.
© 2014 AFP