Muş – First hearing of journalist İdris Sayılğan’s trial was held at Muş 2nd High Criminal Court today. Sayılğan faces “making terrorist propaganda” charges for seven Facebook posts he had shared between August 2015 and March 2016. İdris Sayılğan, who is represented by Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) before court is a former Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter.
‘Evidence from a previous case are included here’
İdris Sayılğan’s family was not allowed inside the courtroom upon the presiding judge’s decision. Ruşen Takva, a reporter observing the hearing, was escorted out of courtroom for interfering with the court proceedings.
Defending himself in Kurdish with the help of an interpreter following an ID check, Sayılğan stated that he is a journalist and his work is relevant to journalism activities. “I have already been sentenced for another case and was released recently. My posts, for which I was tried before, are included in this indictment as well. My post which is on the first page of this case-file was also mentioned on the 77th page of the previous bill of indictment.”
Sayılğan did not accept the charges against him and requested his acquittal, further stating that his posts did not promote or include violence and were shared for journalistic purposes.
The prosecutor presented his opinion and requested Sayılğan to be sentenced pursuant to the Article 7(2) of Turkish Anti-Terror Law for depicting a terrorist organization’s activities as legitimate via press.
Sayılğan’s lawyer Mustafa Murtezaoğlu requested additional time to present his defense in response to the prosecutor’s opinion as to the accusation. The court accepted the request and adjourned the trial until 25 March 2020.
Journalist İdris Sayılğan was handed down an 8 year and 3 month sentence for “membership in a terrorist organization” charges by the same court on 25 January 2019. Sayılğan was held in pre-trial detention during this trial and remained behind bars for more than 3 years.
Sayılğan was recently released on 27 November 2019 following an appeal examination conducted by the Erzurum Regional Court’s 2nd Criminal Chamber.