Hearing of 18 journalists postponed

The hearing of the trial against 18 journalists has been postponed to February 2, 2024.

Amed (Diyarbakır)- 18 journalists, who were detained on June 8, 2022, sent to prison on June 16, 2023 and released pending trial after 13-month in prison, stood trial today. The second hearing of the trial against journalists on charges of “membership in in a terrorist organization” was held by the Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court. The hearing was monitored by many journalists, the Mesopotamia Women Journalists’ Association, the Dicle Fırat Journalists’ Association and lawyers Geórgia Canura and Carolina Saad, members of the Clooney Foundation for Justice based in the Netherlands.

 In his defense, journalist Ömer Çelik said, “I have been a journalist for 15 years. We said that we are journalists. An investigation was launched against 272 people for their social media posts after a person went to a police station in 2017. Several years ago, we all were acquitted of the accusations against us. Now, we stand trial for the same accusations. I have to defend myself against these accusations again.  Why are we accused in this second indictment? Three of four accusations against us in the indictment are about our reports.”

After his defense, lawyer Resul Temur submitted the analyses of “The indictment against 18 Kurdish journalists in Turkey” prepared by PEN Norway to the court. Resul Temur demanded the analyses be used as a reference in the defense. Lawyers of the journalists demanded the judicial control and travel bans on journalists be lifted so that journalists could do journalism.

The court rejected the demands of the lawyers and decided to hold the next hearing on February 2, 2024.