Journalist İdris Sayılğan’s next hearing to be held on 25 January

24 December 2018
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Muş - Prosecutor requested journalist İdris Sayılğan’s punishment on ‘membership in a terrorist organization. The court ruled to keep Sayılğan in detention and ordered him to be present in the next hearing which will be held on 25 January.

Hearing of İdris Sayılğan, a former reporter for the now-defunct Dicle News Agency (DİHA), was held today at Muş 2. High Criminal Court. Sayılğan, who is defended by Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) joined the hearing via the judicial conferencing system, SEGBİS from Trabzon Prison where has been in detention for over two years.

Sayılğan’s lawyer Barış Oflas remarked that they had filed an individual application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on behalf of Sayılğan and noted that the ECtHR had said it would conduct a priority review of his case. Oflas requested the court to wait until the final ruling of the ECtHR, however, his request was rejected.

The prosecutor submitted his final opinion and requested the punishment of Sayılğan on ‘membership in a terrorist organization’ charges. Sayılğan joined the hearing via the judicial conferencing system, SEGBİS and submitted a short statement, requesting extra time to prepare his defense against the prosecutor’s final opinion. He said, "I have no confidence in the court or in the proceeding. I do not request my release. I am a journalist for the free press. I have never yielded, nor will I ever yield. Long live free press!"

Defense lawyers requested extra time to prepare their statements against the final opinion of the prosecutor. The court ruled to keep Sayılğan in detention, ordered him to be present in the next hearing to submit his defense, which will be held on 25 January. This will be the first time Sayılğan will physically appear before a judge since his arrest.