Last week in free speech: Week of April 15 - 19

19 April 2019
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Several journalism and free speech trials were held last week. Below is a list of the hearings monitored by Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) last week:

Court acquits journalist Gökhan Öner on “membership in a terrorist organization” charges

The trial where since shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Gökhan Öner faced “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges resumed at Denizli 2nd High Criminal Court. The court announced the verdict and acquitted Öner on membership charges but sentenced the journalist to 10 months in prison for “making terrorist propaganda.” The sentence is deferred.

https://medyavehukuk.org/en/court-acquits-journalist-gokhan-oner-membership-terrorist-organization-charges

Trial of Erol Önderoğlu, Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Ahmet Nesin adjourned until July

Tenth hearing of the trial where Reporters without Borders (RSF) Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu, journalist Ahmet Nesin and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) director Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı face terror-related charges for participating in the “Editors-in-Chief on Watch” campaign launched in solidarity with the since shuttered Özgür Gündem was held at İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court. The court accepted Önderoğlu’s request to be exempt from hearings. The court also granted Fincancı’s lawyer Meriç Eyüboğlu extra time to prepare her defense statement and adjourned the trial until 17 July.

https://medyavehukuk.org/en/trial-erol-onderoglu-sebnem-korur-fincanci-and-ahmet-nesin-adjourned-until-july

Journalist Hasan Cemal’s trial is adjourned until 7 May

Second hearing of the trial where journalist Hasan Cemal faces “terrorist propaganda” charges was held at İstanbul 36th High Criminal Court. Cemal faces this allegation for a column he wrote for T24 website on 4 December 2015  titled “From Silvan: They’ve accustomed us to sorrow and death...” The prosecutor presented their final opinion and demanded up to 9 years in prison for Cemal. Lawyer Fikret İlkiz requested additional time to prepare a defense in response and the trial was adjourned the trial until 7 May.

https://medyavehukuk.org/en/journalist-hasan-cemals-trial-adjourned-until-7-may

Trial of journalists who reported on Albayrak’s leaked emails is adjourned

Seventh hearing of the trial where six journalists stand trial for reporting on the emails of Berat Albayrak, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources at the time and current Ministry of Finance and Treasury, which were leaked by RedHack was held at İstanbul 29th High Criminal Court.  The court ruled for the continuation of the international travel ban for all defendants and adjourned the trial until 24 September. 

https://medyavehukuk.org/en/trial-journalists-who-reported-albayraks-leaked-emails-adjourned

Court refuses to release imprisoned journalist Kibriye Evren

Fourth hearing of the trial where Jin News reporter and journalist Kibriye Evren faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges resumed at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court today. Evren is tried whilst in detention and has been detained for over six months now. The prosecutor demanded Evren to be punished with up to 20 years in prison for “membership” and “propaganda charges. The court ruled for the continuation of Evren’s detention and adjourned the trial until 7 May.

https://medyavehukuk.org/en/court-refuses-release-imprisoned-journalist-kibriye-evren

Prosecutor demands 10 years in prison for Sözcü executives and staff

Seventh hearing of the trial where executives and staff of Sözcü Daily face terror-related charges was held at İstanbul 37th High Criminal Court today. Although the lawyers protested that the case file was incomplete, the prosecutor still presented a final opinion and demanded up to 10 years in prison for all defendants except Sözcü owner Burak Akbay. The court also decided to begin the process of issuing a red notice for Akbay. The next hearing will take place on 14 June.

https://medyavehukuk.org/en/prosecutor-demands-10-years-prison-sozcu-executives-and-staff