The Court of Appeals overturned the 21-year prison sentence handed down to journalist Ozan Kılıç, former Editor-in-Chief of the Kurdish Azadiya Welat newspaper.
The Court of Appeals 9th Chamber ruled that the sentence was disproportionally high and overturned the decision given by the Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court in February 2010.
Kılınç, the then concessionaire of the Kurdish daily, stood trial under allegations of "spreading propaganda for the PKK organization", the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party. On 9 February 2010, the local court concluded that Kılıç had opposed the Anti-Terror Law (TMY) with the contents published in the Azadiya Welat newspaper and that he "committed a crime on behalf of an illegal organization without being a member of that organization". He received a prison sentence of 21 years and three months accordingly.
The court furthermore decided to release an arrest warrant for the journalist. He was taken into custody in the course of a police operation on his home in the Karapınar district of the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır (south-eastern Turkey) on 22 July 2010. Kılıç was then arrested and incarcerated in the Diyarbakır D Type Prison.
10 months in jail for journalist Kutal on propaganda charges
As reported by Günlük, another daily paper published in Kurdish, Azadiya Welat employee Emine Kutal was recently sentenced to ten months behind bars. She was tried since 2008 on charges of "making propaganda for an illegal organization".
Journalist Çetin facing five years in jail for news about funeral
Journalist Abdullah Çetin, reporter of the Dicle News Agency (DİHA) for Siirt (south-east), is facing prison terms of up to five years on the grounds of a news item published by the Fırat News Agency (ANF). Also Çetin is charged with "spreading propaganda for an illegal organization".
Çetin had covered the funeral of Asiye Gündüz, a member of the People's Defence Forces (HPG) as an armed wing of the PKK. Gündüz died in an armed conflict in the Tatvan (Tux) district of Bitlis; the funeral took place in the Eruh district. Çetin was taken into police custody upon his return to Bitlis. His photographs, his cell phone and the memory card were seized by the police. Çetin was released after he had given his statement.
The Diyarbakır Special Authority Public Prosecution prepared an indictment about Çetin under allegations of "propaganda for an illegal organization", which was then accepted by the Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court.
The indictment seeks prison terms of between 10 months and five years for journalist Çetin. (EÇ/EÖ/VK)
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