The reporters, who had been detained for being "runaway suspects," are accused of "facilitating the activities of illegal organizations through publications." During their questioning at the prosecutor's office, the reporters said they were working in the media field and that there was no evidence to prove they had relations with an illegal organization. The reporters said they had no other activity than working in the media.
Lawyer Mustafa Rollas, the Izmir head of the Human Rights Association (IHD) said Mehmet Yucedag, Medine Tunc, and Sadik Surer, the Izmir distributors of the "Yeniden Ozgur Gundem" newspaper, and DIHA reporters Fahri Kilinc, Sevinc Tuncelli and Ibrahim Acikyer, who were all at the newspaper's office, were being searched since December 21, 2003 for being "runaway suspects."
Lawyer Rollas said the search was based on a January 12, 2004 decision by the prosecutor's office at the Izmir State Security Court. Rollas said police had scattered the photography and information archives in the office at the time of detention and added that the detentions were against the law.
Lawyer Rollas said the questioning had begun based on the baseless claims of a former newspaper distributor. He said a distributor would not know the publishing policies and interior operations of a newspaper. (EO/BB/EA/NM)