Orthodox priest faces life in prison for feeding food and drink to member of political party banned in Turkey

Father Sefer Bileçen was arrested by Turkish police for sharing bread and water with a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party considered to be a terrorist. He will be judged on November 3. 

THEarrest of the Orthodox priest, Sefer Bileçen, nicknamed Father Aho, which occurred on January 9, was reported by AsiaNews.

Sefer Bileçen, guardian of the Syriac Orthodox Saint-Jacob de Mardin monastery, was arrested on January 9 for giving food and water to an activist of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers' Party who is considered a terrorist by the Turkish.

Asia News reports that after four days of detention, the priest was released without official charge. However, he was indicted on January 16.

In the prosecution report, the Assyrian priest is notably accused of not having reported the militants to the police when he knew their identity. Father Aho did not deny that he offered food and water, declaring that he had acted in accordance with his faith, and not out of political or ideological considerations.

Yesterday, the association Sos Christians of the East announced on Twitter that Father Aho was facing life imprisonment. Tried for terrorism, he will appear in Turkish courts the next November 3.

The President of the Assyrian Policy Institute, Jon Koriel, said at the time of Father Aho's arrest "to be deeply concerned about the unjustified charges against Father Aho" and he called on the Turkish authorities "to drop all charges retained against him without preconditions ”. He was obviously not heard.


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