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Journalism and free speech trials: Week of June 17 – 21

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This week several journalism and freedom of expression trials will resume at courts. Below is a list of this week’s hearings:

19 June Wednesday

  • Fourth hearing of the trial where 22 Özgür Gündem journalists–who were taken into custody while the police was raiding Özgür Gündem daily’s office on 16 June 2016–are tried on charges of “resisting a public official to prevent them from performing their duty” and “libel” will be held at İstanbul 5th Criminal Court of the First Instance.

  • Eleventh hearing of the trial where 24 people including documentary filmmaker and video activist Kazım Kızıl, who was taken into custody in İzmir during a protest against the 16 April 2017 referendum and remained in prison for 3 months before being released during the first hearing, will be held at İzmir 33rd Criminal Court of the First Instance.

  • Third hearing of the trial where since shut-down Zaman daily’s former Managing Editor Harun Çümen faces “membership in FETÖ (Fethullahist Terrorist Organization)” charges will take place at İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court. Çümen is tried whilst in detention.
  • Eighteenth hearing of the trial where since shut-down Taraf daily reporter Mehmet Baransu and Managing Editor Murat Şevki Çoban face “disclosing information that must be kept confidential for reasons relating to the security, or domestic and foreign political interests of the State through press” charges for a news report published in Taraf on 28 November 2013 titled “The Decision to end Gulen was reached at the National Security Council (MGK) in 2004” will be held at Anadolu 10th High Criminal Court in Kartal, İstanbul.

20 June Thursday

  • The trial where journalist Selman Keleş faces “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state” charges will resume at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.

  • Second hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet reporter Alican Uludağ and Cumhuriyet’s diplomacy reporter at the time Duygu Güvenç face “publicly denigrating the Turkish state and its judicial institutions” (Article 301) charges for their news story on Pastor Andrew Brunson titled “While the hostage diplomacy collapses” will be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.

  • Second hearing of the trial where journalist Canan Coşkun faces “insulting the president” charges for her news report titled “Erdoğan gave the order and journalists got arrested” will be held at İstanbul 40th Court of First Instance.
  • Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) Co-Director lawyer Veysel Ok will appear before the İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court for the First Instance for the trial where he is charged with denigrating the Turkish judicial system per Turkish Criminal Code’s notorious Article 301 because of an interview he gave in 2015. The trial, which has been dragging for almost two years, resumed after being allocated from another court due to a decision of non-jurisdiction.