Muş court rules to keep journalist Seda Taşkın in prison

12 September 2018

Muş - Seda Taşkın appeared in Muş 2. High Criminal Court today for her third hearing on charges of distributing terrorist propaganda and membership in a terrorist organization. The court ruled that Taşkın, a journalist for Mesopotamia News Agency, is to remain detained until her next hearing, which is scheduled for December 10.

Taşkın has been detained in Sincan Women’s Prison for the past nine months, and appeared in court via the judicial teleconferencing system SEGBİS. She was represented in court by her lawyers Ebru Akkal and Rıdvan Konak.

Akkal began the hearing by noting that the investigation began after an anonymous tip by a person within the police department was received, which he alleged made the proceedings unlawful and unjust. Akkal then requested that the defense be permitted to summon witnesses to present evidence, which the court refused to allow.

Taşkın then rose to present her defense statement. “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.”

One of the key pieces of evidence against Taşkın is her meeting with a lawyer in Van, something she addressed in her statement. “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.”

Despite Konak’s subsequent request that Taşkın be released from detention, the court ruled to keep Taşkın detained and adjourned the hearing until December 10 2018.

Updated: December 6 2018