Friday, December 14, 2018
   
Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax

Turkey: Six journalists given life sentences over coup

Six Turkish journalists have been sentenced to life in prison on charges related to a failed 2016 coup attempt.

reporters

A Turkish court has sentenced six journalists to life in prison in relation to a failed coup attempt in 2016, state media reported.

The six journalists received aggravated life sentences for "attempting to overthrow the constitutional order", an unnamed judicial source told Anadolu news agency on Friday.

Turkey has accused the journalists of having links to a movement headed by exiled Muslim scholar Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara alleges was behind a deadly failed putsch in July 2016. Gulen, who is based in the United States, denies the accusation.

The individuals sentenced on Friday in the Istanbul court include Ahmet Altan, the former editor-in-chief of Taraf newspaper, his brother, journalist and academic Mehmet Altan, and prominent Turkish journalist Nazli Ilicak.

"Aggravated life sentence means if prisoners are granted immunity by any other future government or any other judiciary, these people cannot benefit from that," Koseoglu said.

In a post-coup purge, Turkey detained and summarily fired tens of thousands of people, including journalists, academics, teachers, civil servants and police officers, for allegedly having links to the Gulenist movement.

About 150 Turkish journalists are believed to be imprisoned in Turkey, according to the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECMPF) said.

The ruling on Friday was condemned by press freedom and human rights groups.

Christophe Deloire, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders, said that "the Turkish judiciary and the regime that controls the judges ridicule themselves in front of the world" with the ruling.

"This sets a devastating precedent for scores of other journalists charged with similarly groundless charges," said Sarah Clarke, policy and advocacy manager at PEN International, a freedom of expression advocacy group.

Turkish-German journalist released

The sentences came a few hours after Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel was released after more than a year in prison.

"We are relieved and happy about the news," Lutz Kinkel, ECMPF managing director, said in a statement.

Yucel still faces a charge of "supporting terrorism", which comes with a maximum sentence of 18 years in prison, the ECMPF said.

Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's foreign minister welcomed Yucel's release.

"This is a good day for all of us," he said in a statement.

“I am very pleased with this decision by the Turkish judiciary. And I am even happier for Deniz Yucel and his family," he added.

Gabriel thanked the Turkish government for expediting the case and said it "has always emphasised that it will not exert any political influence on the court's decision-making".


blog comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe via RSS or Email:

Israeli air raids kill five Palesti...

Read More

Fierce fighting 'eases' in Hodeidah...

Read More

Saudis discussed killing enemies a ...

Read More

Khashoggi killing: Demand for justi...

Read More

Israel kills seven Palestinians in ...

Read More

UK calls for end to Yemen war, Khas...

Read More

Most Read Articles

Most Read News

Donation

Thanks to all of our supporters for your generosity and your encouragement of an independent press!

Enter Amount:

Featured_Author

Login






Login reminder Forgot login?

Subscribe to MWC News Alert

Email Address

Subscribe in a reader Facebok page Twitter page

Israel pounds Gaza

India's Kerala state devastated

Capturing life under apartheid