Upcoming Free Speech and Journalism Trials: Week of Aug 6-12

5 August 2018

This week, several journalists, including two defended by the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) Legal Unit, will appear before judges. Here is a list of this week’s journalism trials:

Tuesday, Aug 7

● The 4th hearing of journalist Ziya Ataman’s trial will be held at 09:00 at Şırnak 1. High Criminal Court. Ataman, a reporter with the shuttered DİHA news agency, is accused of “membership in a terrorist organization” MLSA Legal Team’s Zelal Pelin Doğan will be representing Ataman in the Şırnak courtroom.

● The first hearing in the journalist Berzan Güneş’s trial, who is facing a "terrorist propaganda" charge due to his social media posts, will be heard at 10:00 at Iğdır 2. High Criminal Court. MLSA Coordinator  and head of MLSA Legal Team Veysel Ok and Iğdır based lawyer Engin Kızılay will defend the journalist in the courtroom in Iğdır.

● Taraf newspaper’s former editor-in-chief Ahmet Altan and journalists  Mehmet Baransu, Yasemin Çongar, Yıldıray Oğur, Tuncay Opçin will appear before the 13th High Criminal Court in relation with a classified military action plan, parts of which were published by Taraf in 2010. All of the suspects face charges of obtaining, damaging and disclosing state secrets while Baransu and Opçin face additional charges of founding and leading a terrorist organization. Baransu is the only defendant who is imprisoned in this trial. Altan, who is exempt from attending the hearings in this trial, was sentenced to life in prison in February 2018 along with three other journalists due to his role as Taraf’s editor-in-chief.