Free Speech

Another lawsuit has been brought against journalist Hayko Bağdat for his social media posts

The new lawsuit brought up against Bağdat on “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charge because of six social media posts he had shared on his social media account has been merged with the ongoing trial at the Istanbul 28th High Criminal Court.

A new lawsuit has been brought up against journalist Hayko Bağdat who lives abroad, on the grounds of six social media posts he had shared on his social media account between 2015-2019. In the indictment prepared by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, it is stated that an arrest warrant was issued for Bağdat for his statement to be taken and there are many arrest warrants that could not be executed.

In the indictment, posts shared from Bağdat’s personal Facebook account in 2015 saying “Both soldiers and guerrillas are our children. We will not sacrifice them to the war” and the comments he wrote on the posts he made on news articles he had shared are considered to constitute an offense as they can be considered as “making propaganda.” Arguing that “the posts in question cannot be considered within the scope of freedom of expression according to the established case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Cassation”, the prosecutor requests that Bağdat be sentenced.

The indictment presented to the Istanbul 28th High Criminal Court with a request for merger also demands that the journalist be deprived of exercising certain rights. In his ongoing case at the 28th High Criminal Court, Bağdat is charged with “making propaganda for a terrorist organization through the press and in a consecutive manner” for nine social media posts he had shared between 2017 and 2018. The posts that are subject to the lawsuit include a tweet in which there is the photograph of Osman Kavala and an interview with Cemil Bayık. Germany had rejected Bağdat’s request for his statement to be taken by rogatory letters on the grounds that “freedom of expression is an inalienable fundamental right.”