An İstanbul court on Wednesday decided for a continuation of the imprisonment of Berkay Ustabaş, a student and secretary-general of the Revolutionary Youth Associations who was jailed in January for protesting the Turkish government during the funeral of a victim of Turkey’s Gezi Park protests.
Ustabaş has been behind bars since Jan. 5 for organizing protests before, during and after the 2014 funeral of Berkin Elvan, a 15-year-old Turkish boy who was hit on the head by a tear-gas canister fired by a police officer in İstanbul during the June 2013 anti-government protests in Turkey, known as the Gezi Park protests. Elvan died in March 2014 following a 269-day coma.
Ustabaş is a student in the sociology department at İstanbul University.
Elvan’s mother Gülsüm Elvan, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) İstanbul deputies Züleyha Gülüm and Hüda Kaya and HDP İzmir deputy Serpil Kemalbay gathered in front the Çağlayan Courthouse in İstanbul on Wednesday before the beginning of Ustabaş’s trial. They, along with Ustabaş’s lawyer, Erman Öztürk, demanded his release in a press statement.
Öztürk said his client’s arrest is completely politically motivated.
The court ruled for the continuation of Ustabaş’s imprisonment and set the date for his next hearing as Nov. 1.