Both appeals filed against the detention of journalists and authors Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener were dismissed by the Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court. Şık and Şener were taken into custody on 3 March in the scope of the Eregenekon probe into a plot to topple the Justice and Development Party. They were arrested and detained three days later on 6 March.
The appeals were rejected by unanimous vote. The court gave the decision on Wednesday (17 March) and notified the lawyers of the suspects on Thursday. The decision is based on Article 100/3 of the Criminal Procedure Law.
According to the provision, the request for the release of a suspect can be rejected by reasons of "concealing evidence", "possibility of escape" or "pressure on witnesses". The decision on the detention of the two journalists does not mention any reason related to their particular situation.
The arrests and detentions of Şık and Şener were subject of various criticism voiced by the European Parliament , the U.S. government, Reporters without Borders (RSF), the International Journalists Federation (IFJ), the International Press Institute (IPI), the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) and other international professional press institutions as well as the Turkey-based Freedom for Journalists Platform (GÖP).
The criticism was mainly directed at the right to protect the sources of a journalist and at the interrogations of the journalists that included questions about their professional activities. The organizations and institutions called on the Turkish authorities to stop attacks on freedom of the press.
The latest reaction came from Harry van Bommel, Member of Parliament for the Socialist Party (SP) in the Netherlands. He forwarded four questions about the arrest of Şık and Şener to the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoğlu. All four questions touch upon the recent arrests and press freedom.
People in Istanbul went to the streets twice within the past two weeks to express their protest against the arrests. Thousands of demonstrators joined the protest walks from Taksim along Istiklal Avenue in the centre of Istanbul. (EKN/VK)
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