Muş court rules to keep journalist Seda Taşkın in prison

12 September 2018

Muş - 3rd case hearing of Mesopotamia News Agency (MA) reporter Seda Taşkın was held in Muş 2. High Criminal Court. Court ruled for the continuation of her detention.

Lawyers Ebru Akkal, Rıdvan Konak and defendant Seda Taşkın, who has been imprisoned in Sincan Women Prison for 9 months, joined the hearing via judicial conferencing system (SEGBİS). Hearing started with identity checks. Lawyer Akkal pointed out that this investigation allegedly started based on an anonymous tip, however the tipping email was sent from someone in the police department. Akkal stated that the legal proceeding is both unlawful and nonprocedural.

Prosecutor submitted his final opinion in which he requested the punishment of Seda Taşkın based on 'terrorist propaganda' and 'membership in a terrorist organisation' charges. Defence lawyers' request to take witness statements was rejected by the court.

‘I am under arrest because I did my job’

Journalist Taşkın took the floor and stated: “My stories generally cover cultural subjects. I have never been detained before. I only posted news stories on social media. What the prosecutor claims to be crimes are the images from those news stories, which belong to other people and were not published in my name. I am a journalist, and I have worked in various cities all around Turkey. However those stories are not involved in the indictment.“

Taşkın drew attention to the fact that her meeting with a lawyer in Van was considered as evidence of crime and added: “I met a lawyer in Van, regarding a news story. How can that be considered as a crime? I can cover a story of a child in prison, that is not a crime. I am accused because of my journalistic work. I was detained because I did my job. It is impossible for journalists to keep doing their job under these allegations. “

Lawyer Rıdvan Konak requested the release of his client after Taşkın's statement. Court ruled for the continuation of detention of Seda Taşkın and adjourned the hearing until 10 December.