Decision in the Belgian DHKP-C trial on 7th February
DECISION: 7 FEBRUARY 2008
COURT OF APPEAL ANTWERPEN
(Members of CLEA will gather from 8.30 a.m. in front of the court house)
Appeal to international organisations:
Show presence at the trial
Send your message of solidarity
The Belgian press continues to publish articles regarding the expected decision trial in Antwerp on 7th February. Some days ago the French-language daily newspaper "Le Soir" published an article in the name of the president of Bar Association of Dinant, lawyer Jean-Marie Dermagne. In his article Dermagne pointed to the positive result of a political trial in Denmark and he expressed his expectations that the Belgian judges of the DHKP-C trial will act with the same sobriety.
The article by the barrister was entitled "It was not the purpose of the T-shirt sellers to destabilise society".
The article continued: "The trial concerning 'terrorist T-shirts', which stood on the agenda for three months and finally came to a conclusion before the Copenhagen court, is quite interesting. A 56-year-old sausage seller, a teacher, a public servant, a copy shop employee, a computer geek and two students were tried for financing terrorism. Sheer madness!
As members of the association 'Fighters + Lovers' they discussed online about the idea to sell T-Shirts with the emblems of the organisations PFLP and FARC. One morning their houses were raided by rambos of the anti-terrorism police."
Their crime was clear, they sold 600 T-Shirts carrying emblems of the organisations PFLP and FARC, which are declared 'guilty' by the main terrorist USA, in support of these organisations. So, is there any bigger 'crime' than to support revolutionary organisations? It was sufficient to raid houses and to open a trial... The collected funds and remaining T-Shirts were confiscated as 'elements of an offence' and evidence.
They were brought to court. At the court they declared that each of these objects with motifs carried a profit of 5 Euros and with that money there were plans to finance logistical equipment (for example radio stations).
As a consequence of it, the Danish prosecutor demanded the punishment of the accused for 'financing terrorist activities'.
In the following trial days there were experts and witnesses heard, both for the plaintiffs and the accused, in order to clarify if the organisations PFLP and FARC were terrorist movements or on the contrary, if one of them was a legitimate resistance movement against the Israeli occupation and the other against the regime in Bogota, which is defined as a dictatorship by many people. Under the pretext that the prosecutor wanted to criminalise the sale of 'evil' T-shirts, the Danish judges were forced to deal with the most geopolitical questions such as the legality of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian soil or the democratic character of the Colombian regime.
In the same days the trial was re-opened in Antwerp of Belgian (or based in Belgium) activists and sympathisers of the revolutionary organisation from Turkey, the DHKP-C. The sentences passed against the defendants of the DHKP-C trial were cancelled by the appeal court earlier. Therefore the trial was re-opened in Antwerp. The verdict, which was scheduled on 20th December, was first postponed to 17th January and later to 7th February.
There's a lot to say about this process indeed. As the defendants in this trial stated earlier, the results of this trial will concern the Belgians and oppressed peoples in general, not just the 'sentenced' DHKP-C activists, since it is a matter of violation and deprivation of democratic rights through 'demagogies of terrorism'.
In his article, lawyer Jean-Marie Dermagne continues: "On the other side the sale of T-shirts with revolutionary emblems. As easy as it is to find similarities in these two cases, the results are alarming. Has anyone not at some time sold, distributed or bought clothes or other items which carry the picture of the Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara, who was shot by the CIA and has won the hearts of all rebellious teenagers?
If Ernesto Guevara, who didn't follow a different strategy from the FARC, PFLP or DHKP-C were still alive today, he would certainly declared as terrorist by the USA, which constantly hunts green, black or red witches, or by the new McCarthys of all its satellite states.
Consequently: All citizens who dream of climbing mountains to fight alongside Che against an unjust world, will fall into a certain security pot, which has bubbled since September 11. It is always necessary to stay logical.
This was understood by the Danish judges! And they discharged seven 'Fighters and Lovers' on 13th December. This judgement unleashed 'worldwide amazement' and it is a ray of hope for all defenders of freedom of opinion and activists," lawyer Dermagne stated. And he adds: "It is only to be expected that the judges in Antwerp will issue their verdict with the same sobriety as their Danish colleagues did."
Wednesday, January 23, 2008