France ‘concerned’ over Dündar, Gül convictions

France ‘concerned’ over Dündar, Gül convictions

France ‘concerned’ over Dündar, Gül convictions

AFP photo

France has voiced its concern over the conviction of Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dündar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül, who were each handed five-year jail sentences for revealing state secrets on May 6.

“France was concerned to hear of the prison sentences of 5 years and 10 months and 5 years handed down on May 6 to Can Dundar and Erdem Gul … of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet. The court decisions have been appealed,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on its website on May 9.

The statement stressed that freedom of expression and press freedom are essential components of any democratic society.

It also strongly condemned the gun attack targeting Dündar outside Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse, urging for full light to be shed on the attack.

Dündar and Gül were on trial for “leaking state secrets” due to stories published about Turkish intelligence trucks bound for Syria with hidden weapons in early 2014. They were arrested on Nov. 26, 2015 and released pending trial on Feb. 26 following a Constitutional Court ruling.

Following the gun attack outside the courthouse, Dündar and Erdem Gül the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, were convicted and sentenced to five years and 10 months and five years in prison respectively.