New developments in Turkish trial of Syriac Military Council members

URHOY, Turkey  — There are new developments in the illegal trial of Jamil Gerges, Emad Al Saud, and Muhassan Al Okla, fighters of the Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Fulḥoyo Suryoyo, MFS), in Turkey.

The three men were captured by occupying Turkish forces in Syria and illegally transported across the border into Turkey to be tried for “undermining the Turkish state” despite never having left Syria. As members of MFS, the men were defending their homeland in predominantly Syriac–Assyrian Khabur River Valley in North and East Syria.

In a previous ruling, a Turkish court sentenced them to life imprisonment. However, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling and ordered a retrial. A new trial has begun against them in Urhoy. Only one of the MFS fighters was present in person, with the others attending via video.

The judge listened to the testimonies of the MFS fighters and their lawyer called for the trial to be postponed to 24 October.

The men may be sentenced to 7 years in prison for their membership in MFS, despite MFS not being listed as a criminal or terrorist organization in Turkey.

According to the statements of their lawyer, he is confident of his ability to secure their acquittal.