Journalists Outside Initiative has urged to come together for the second hearing of the Cumhuriyet trial which will be held on September 11 in Silivri of Istanbul and shared a video on social media calling for support for the next hearing.
The video shared under the hashtags "#11EylüldeHepsiniİstiyoruz" (we want them all out on September 11) and "#GazetecilereÖzgürlük" (freedom for journalists) states that the employees of Cumhuriyet daily were arrested for their journalistic activities and demands their release.
What had happened?
İstanbul Chief Public Prosecution announced on October 31 that a prosecution was launched against Cumhuriyet Foundation executives on charge of "Making publications that justify July 15 coup attempt and committing crime for PKK/KCK and FETÖ/PDY without being a member of the organizations".
Cumhuriyet Daily Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, columnists Hakan Kara, Hikmet Çetinkaya, Aydın Engin, Kadri Gürsel, Güray Öz, cartoonist Musa Kart, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board members Attorney Bülent Utku, Attorney Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Önder Çelik, Bülent Yener, Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet Book Supplement Turhan Günay and Accounting Manager Günseli Özaltay were taken into custody on the same day.
The first hearing in the trial in which in which one Twitter user under arrest and 18 executives, journalists and employees from Cumhuriyet daily 11 of whom are also arrested are standing trial was held on July 24, 2017 before İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse 27th High Criminal Court.
Who stands trial on what charges?
Can Dündar, Mehmet Murat Sabuncu, Kadri Gürsel, Aydın Engin, Bülent Yener and Günseli Özaltay face from 7.5 to 15 years in prison each on charge of "aiding an armed terrorist organization as a non-member".
Akın Atalay, Mehmet Orhan Erinç and Önder Çelik face from 11.5 to 43 years in prison each on charges of "aiding an armed terrorist organization as a non-member" and "misconduct".
Bülent Utku, Musa Kart, Hakan Karasinir, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Hikmet Aslan Çetinkaya face from 9.5 to 29 years in prison each on charges of "aiding an armed terrorist organization as a non-member" and "misconduct".
Ahmet Şık faces from 7.5 to 15 years in prison each on charge of "aiding the armed terrorist organizations of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) as a non-member"
Of all who are standing trial; Kadri Gürsel, Akın Atalay, Güray Öz, Musa Kart, Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu, Bülent Utku, Hakan Karasinir, Murat Sabuncu, Ahmet Şık, Önder Çelik, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Turhan Günay are in detention on remand, Aydın Engin, Hikmet Çetinkaya have been released on probation, the files of Bülent Yener, Günseli Özaltay, Orhan Erinç are confidential and order was issued to take Can Dündar and İlhan Tanır forcibly to testify.
Interim judgement and next hearing
An interim judgement was passed on July 28 on the the fifth hearing of the first part in the trial.
The President of the court has ruled that Güray Öz, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Hakan Kara, Önder Çelik, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Turhan Günay be released and Murat Sabuncu, Akın Atalay, Kadri Gürsel, Ahmet Şık and Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu remain further in jail.
The court has also decided that criminal charges be pressed against the plea of Ahmet Şık.
On August 10, the case of Cumhuriyet daily's accounting personnel Emre İper's case was combined with the main case.
The next hearing will be held on September 11 in Silivri. (AS/DG)
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