Jailed journalist Altan applies to Turkey’s Constitutional Court for execution of release ruling
Fırat Alkaç – ISTANBUL
Turkish journalist Mehmet Altan has applied through his lawyers to the Constitutional Court to push for the execution of his release from jail, after the top court last week ruled that his imprisonment violated his constitutional rights.
Altan’s application came after two local Istanbul courts resisted the Constitutional Court’s ruling, rejecting for his release from jail despite the fact that the top court’s decision are legally binding for lower courts.
Lawyers representing Altan on Jan. 17 filed a complaint to the Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) against judges on the panels of the 26th and 27th High Criminal Courts of Istanbul for not implementing the Constitutional Court’s Jan. 11 judgement. The petition stated that the decisions handed down by these judges violated the constitution.
On Jan. 11, the Constitutional Court had ruled to release jailed Altan and journalist Şahin Alpay, saying their continued imprisonment violated their rights to personal liberty and security.
Altan and Alpay have been accused of “links to terrorist groups” and “attempting to overthrow the government,” charges they have denied.
Around 160 journalists are currently in jail in the country, according to the Turkish Journalists’ Association. International journalism groups say Turkey is now the world’s largest jail of journalists.