Arrest warrant issued for Kurdish singer and activist Tunç for insulting former PM Yıldırım

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An arrest warrant has been issued for famous Kurdish singer and activist Ferhat Tunç for insulting former Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Twitter in 2016, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported on Friday, citing the Bianet news website.

An İstanbul court decided to issue an arrest warrant for Tunç for failing to attend court hearings.

“As if… The millions who voted for the HDP [pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party] have enough dignity that they won’t bow down to the dictator you [then-Prime Minister Yıldırım] bend over backward for,” Tunç tweeted in 2016.

Tunç, who is living in exile in Germany, did not attend his trial at the Büyükçekmece 16th Criminal Court of First Instance.

Kurdish singer was also indicted for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by the Büyükçekmece Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2018.

German prosecutors previously denied request for judicial assistance from a Turkish court in Tunç’s case on the grounds that freedom of expression is a fundamental right according to the German constitution.

In July Tunç said he was repeatedly threatened on social media and was warned by the Hessen state police against a possible attack.

A pro-government social media account named “Jitemkurt” on July 11 published a list of journalists and activists living in Europe and North America whom they plan to assassinate.

The account published the names of 21 individuals including Tunç and threatened to kill them.

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