Arrested Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief, columnist demand urgent indictment, trial without arrest
ISTANBULThe arrested editor-in-chief of daily Cumhuriyet, Murat Sabuncu, and Cumhuriyet columnist Kadri Gürsel have demanded the urgent preparation of any indictment against them as well as trial without arrest, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said.
“They want an indictment to be prepared immediately and to be tried without arrest. Their common opinion is that they are being held without a legal basis and so demand trial without arrest. It is very obvious they have not stood by any illegal organization throughout their lives,” said CHP Istanbul deputy Süleyman Sencer Ayata after his visit to Istanbul’s Silivri Prison, where the two journalists are currently under arrest on terror charges.
Ayata also said Sabuncu and Gürsel are in a good condition in jail but are not being allowed to read books.
“They send their regards. Both are in a very good condition. They strongly believe they are right. They are sure that what is being done to them is wrong. They are also sure that there is no substantial legal basis to them being held there anyway,” he added.
“There are 1,700 books in the library, many of which are not readable [due to the state of emergency]. The other 200 are taken, so they cannot reach a single book. It is a great shame and injustice to withhold books from people who live and are fed by books. This is a basic human right,” Ayata said.
Sabuncu and Gürsel were arrested on Nov. 5, after being accused of committing crimes on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have orchestrated the failed coup attempt of July 15.
Recently, Cumhuriyet CEO Akın Atalay was arrested on Nov. 12, bringing the total number of arrests from the newspaper on the same charges to 10.