Court releases Turkish journalist arrested on ‘editor-in-chief on duty’ campaign
ISTANBUL – Doğan News AgencyAn Istanbul court ordered the release of a journalist on July 1 who was arrested on charges of “making terror propaganda” after supporting a solidarity campaign with daily Özgür Gündem, a day after two of his colleagues on the campaign were released.
The Istanbul 14th Court of Serious Crimes ordered the release of Ahmet Nesin after 11 days based on the classification and nature of the offence, the low level of the crime, the available evidence and his lack of flight risk.
On June 30, the Istanbul 13rd Court of Serious Crimes ordered the release of Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) head Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu, who also served as one-day editors-in-chief during the campaign.
An Istanbul court ordered the arrest of all three campaigners on charges of “making terror propaganda” after they served as guest editors-in-chief of Özgür Gündem to display solidarity with the daily, after it launched a “editors-in-chief on duty” campaign on May 3, World Press Freedom Day.
The indictment demanded jail terms for the trio from two years to 14 years and six months on charges of inciting and praising crime and making propaganda for a terror organization.
Özgür Gündem has been repeatedly closed down in the past and is seen as being close to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The daily started the campaign on May 3 to foster solidarity and defend press freedom against a number of investigations it has faced.