Journalism and free speech trials: Week of Jan 21-25

20 January 2019
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This week several journalists, including jailed journalist İdris Sayılğan defended by Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) will appear before judges. Below is a list of this week’s journalism and free speech trials:

January 21, Monday

  • Evrensel daily Tunceli reporter Kemal Özer will be on trial at Tunceli 1. High Criminal Court on “membership in a terrorist organization” charges.

January 22, Tuesday

  • Journalists Hayri Demir and Sibel Hürtaş will be on trial at Ankara 15. High Criminal Court on “inciting the public towards hatred and animosity” and “terrorist propaganda” charges due to their critical social media posts regarding the state’s military operation in Syria’s Afrin.
  • Hearing of journalist Nazlı Ilıcak, charged with “revealing secret state documents with the intent of espionage” will be held at İstanbul 26. High Criminal Court at 11:00 AM. Ilıcak was sentenced to life in prison from a separate case back in February 2018 on “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order”, this is expected to be the final hearing in this case.

January 25, Friday

  • Didim Özgürses daily owner Mustafa Öge, Mavi Didim daily owner Ergun Korkmaz, Mavi Didim daily reporter Erdem Özen and Labour Party (EMEP) Didim province head Kazım Temiz will be on trial at Didim 1. Criminal Court of First Instance on “inciting the public towards hatred and animosity” charges due to their reports that criticized the state’s military operation in Syria’s Afrin.
  • Imprisoned in Trabzon Prison for over two years, journalist İdris Sayılğan will be on trial at Muş 2. High Criminal Court on “membership in a terrorist organization” at 09:00 AM. A final verdict is expected in the hearing, which will be the first hearing that he will be able to physically attend since the inception of the prosecution.