Prosecutors submitted an indictment to Anadolu 30th Peace Court, charging Sedat Kapanoğlu and 40 account holders with the “blasphemy on the religious values of a society fraction” due to their entries on Ekşisözlük, a popular social media website in Turkey. Site owner Kapanoğlu and other users are facing prison sentences from 6 up to 12 months.
“I don’t want to make an extensive comment on the prosecution as it has yet to begin,”Ekşisözlük lawyer Başak Purut told bianet.
“However, I had a hard time understanding what expressions might have resulted with the aforementioned charges.”
According to an article by Deniz Aydın from Zaman newspaper, the indictment made several references to related ECHR verdicts and EDHR articles.
Some of the highlight from the indictment included [translated by bianet English]:
“Turkish Penal Code Article 216/3 serves the judicial purpose of protecting the sentiments of those who believe in God, religion, prophets, holy writings and sects. Individuals may certainly express their opinions and criticize certain aspects. However, they must do this while not hurting other people’s religious sentiments. Therefore, nobody has the right to damage the respect of others towards their sacred concepts."
In 2010, prosecutors launched an investigation on Sedat Kapanoğlu through Ekşi Technologies and Communications Ltd - the owner company of Ekşi Sözlük website - upon a complaint submitted by Ali Emre Bukağılı. (EA/BM)
* Click here to read the original article in Turkish.
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