ISTANBUL (BGNNews.com) — Turkish-Armenian writer, intellectual and journalist Sevan Nisanyan, currently serving a 6 year, 6 months sentence in Yenipazar Prison in the western province of Aydin, has had his sentence increased 4 years, 7 months by the Supreme Court of Appeals.
Nisanyan is currently serving time over a charge of “deliberately causing harm to the protection of immovable cultural heritage” for his building an addition to his home in the Aegean village of Sirince in violation to the Cultural and Natural Heritage Protection Act (KTVKK). However he is known for his outspoken criticism of the government, and it is widely believed that his sentencing was simply an excuse to silence the vocal critic.
Turkish-Armenian daily Agos reported that the additional 4 years, 7 months to his sentence was over three separate charges; 4 years, 2 months handed out over his violation of the KTVKK and 5 months for the breaking of the seal on his property. The Supreme Court of Appeals is also hearing an additional 5 year, 6 month prison sentence for Nisanyan.
Appeals against the eleven separate cases filed against Nisanyan over violations of the KTVKK and the Zoning Code had been brought to the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court Prosecutor has yet to respond to the request that the cases be consolidated into one single sentence, instead of sentencing Nisanyan for the same crimes one by one.
Nisanyan would have been eligible for transfer to a minimum-security open prison as of April 21st; however the additional sentencing means he will remain in his current closed prison until 2016 at the earliest.