Journalism and free speech trials: Week of March 16

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of March 16
This week several journalism and freedom of expression trials will resume at courts. Below is a list of this week’s hearings:

16 March Monday

  • Yakın Doğu (Near East) News Editor-in-Chief Alptekin Dursunoğlu will appear before the Istanbul 49th Criminal Court of First Instance for the first time since he was arrested on March 1, 2020. Journalist Dursunoğlu faces “inciting the public to hatred & animosity” charges based on four tweets criticizing Turkey’s military involvement in Syria and is tried whilst in detention.

17 March Tuesday

  • Fourth hearing of the trial where Human Rights Foundation of Turkey president Şebnem Korur Fincancı is accused of insulting Erdoğan based on a tweet she had posted during Gezi Protests in 2013 while he was the PM will be held at Anadolu 42nd Criminal Court of First Instance this week.
  • Trial where Artı Gerçek correspondent Rıfat Doğan is accused of allegedly video-recording at the courtroom during the hearing of the Çorlu high-speed train accident trial where victims’ relatives weren’t allowed inside will resume at Çorlu 4th Criminal Court of First Instance.

18 March Wednesday

  • Fifth hearing of the trial where since shut-down İMC TV’s Program Coordinator Ayşegül Doğan faces “founding and managing an armed organization” charges for her journalistic activities including meetings and interviews with Democratic Society Congress (DTK) executives and events that she attended as a journalist will take place at Diyarbakır 9th High Criminal Court. The prosecutor demands up to 22.5 years in prison for Doğan. 

19 March Thursday

  • Sixth hearing of the trial where Cumhuriyet daily’s former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar faces “possessing and disclosing prohibited information for political or military espionage” and “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” charges for publishing the news report on MİT (National Intelligence Agency) trucks that were sent to Syria in May 2015 will be held at Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court this week. 
  • Trial where 38 people including Özgür Gelecek reporter Taylan Özgür Öztaş and Etkin News Agency (ETHA) reporter Tunahan Turhan face defying the Law no. 2911 on Assemblies and Demonstrations will be held at Anadolu 13th Criminal Court of First Instance. They are accused of attending the protests against appointment of trustees in Kurdish provinces instead of elected mayors, which were held at Kadıköy in August 2019. Öztaş was taken in police custody while following the protest as a reporter on Aug 22 and Turhan was taken in custody later in the evening that day with a police raid to his home. Both journalists were released with judicial control measures upon providing their statements at the prosecutor’s office. 

20 March Friday

  • Second hearing of the trial where former İleri Haber Editor-in-Chief Onur Emre Yağan faces “successively making terrorist propaganda” charges will be held at Istanbul 33rd High Criminal Court this week. Evidence presented against Yağan are news stories posted on İleri Haber’s Twitter account.

Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA) haber alma hakkı, ifade özgürlüğü ve basın özgürlüğü alanlarında faaliyet yürüten bir sivil toplum kuruluşudur. Derneğimiz başta gazeteciler olmak üzere mesleki faaliyetleri sebebiyle yargılanan kişilere hukuki destek vermektedir.