Nine people, five of whom had been arrested on charge of "being members of a terrorist organization", including reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar from the Etkin News Agency (ETHA), had their second hearings at the 32nd Heavy Penal Court in İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan today (October 31).
The court board has ruled that all of the arrested defendants including Ali Sönmez Kayar shall be released on probation. An international travel ban has also been imposed on the defendants by the court.
While the judicial control practices that were previously imposed on the other three defendants have been lifted, the court board has ruled for the continuation of their international travel bans.
The next hearing will be held on February 19, 2019.
Two witnesses to be heard again
The hearing held today was attended by the arrested defendants ETHA reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar, Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) Duty Chair Sıtkı Güngör, Federation of Socialist Youth Association (SGDF) Central Executive Board Member Ali Deniz Esen, Narin Duru and Eren Bulut as well as Boran Atıcı and Mustafa Çapar, who have not been arrested.
While the court has ruled for the release of the arrested defendants, it has also ruled that witnesses Sercan Kaya and Zafer Atıl shall be heard again.
Access to ETHA has been banned for 3 years
Access to the website of the Etkin News Agency (ETHA) has been prohibited in Turkey since July 27, 2017. The agency has still been publishing and sharing its news on its Facebook account.
Editor İsminaz Temel and reporter Havva Cuştan from the Etkin News Agency were arrested on September 25, 2017 while reporter Ali Sönmez Kayar from the same agency was arrested on February 6, 2018. ETHA reporter Adil Demirci was also arrested in April 2018.
While Cuştan was released at her first hearing on July 17, Kayar was released today. İsminaz Temel and Adil Demirci have been still behind bars.
According to the BİA Media Monitoring Report, 123 journalists entered October 1, 2018 in prison. (TP/AS/SD)
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