Journalists Outside Initiative Calls for Solidarity for Next Hearing in Cumhuriyet Trial

Journalists Outside Initiative Calls for Solidarity for Next Hearing in Cumhuriyet Trial

Comments Off on Journalists Outside Initiative Calls for Solidarity for Next Hearing in Cumhuriyet Trial

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300 days after executives and journalists of Cumhuriyet daily had been detained, Journalists Outside Initiative has demanded their release and called on the people to come together for the second hearing of the Cumhuriyet trial which will be held on September 11 in Silivri of Istanbul.

As a part of an investígation which lead to one Twitter user and 18 executives, journalists and employees from Cumhuriyet daily stand trial, Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, attorney Akın Atalay, Editorial Consultant Kadri Gürsel have been behind bars for 300 days, journalist Ahmet Şık for  239 and employee  Emre İper for 142 days as of August 26.

300 days after executives and journalists of Cumhuriyet daily had been detained, Journalists Outside Initiative has demanded their release and called on the people to come together for the second hearing of the Cumhuriyet trial which will be held on September 11 in Silivri of Istanbul.

Upon call of the initiative, the photographs and videos shared on Twitter, many journalists have shown their support the hashtag #GazetecilereÖzgürlük (#FreedomForJournalists) has climbed to the second place on Twitter’s Turkey agenda.

The fifth hearing in the Cumhuriyet daily trial 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 is being held today (July 27).

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, if not their members”.

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 Ke188342mal 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.

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.

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.

The next hearing will be held on September 11 in Silivri. (EA/DG)

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