Turkish freedom of expression trial adjourned until February Sara R. Parsowith at 10:03 AM ET
[JURIST] The trial of Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk [TIME profile] for slander against the state was adjourned Friday until February 7, 2006 to give Turkey's Justice Ministry time to decide if the case is in line with judicial procedures after a prosecutorial request. Under Turkish law, individual rights can be restricted to preserve the "integrity of the state" and Pamuk was accused after making unfavorable remarks to a Swiss newspaper about Turkey's stance related to the mass killings of Armenians. Pamuk is charged under article 301 [Amnesty backgrounder] of the revised Turkish penal code [JURIST report] but his remarks were made before the new code became law. He could be sentenced to three years in jail. The case has raised concern among European Union [official website] members, and on Thursday, European Parliament member Camil Eurlins said that if Turkey wants to become part of the EU, it will need to incorporate freedom of expression into its laws. The EU has previously warned [JURIST report; EU report] Turkey that its pending membership in the EU is dependent on it ending torture [JURIST report] and stabilizing its human rights situation. Recently Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul [official website, English version] criticized the case [JURIST report] as a "public denigration of Turkish identity" arguing that the trial does not seek to extend greater individual rights to citizens, including freedom of religion and expression. Reuters has more.
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