Case Monitoring

Journalist Zübeyde Sarı is acquitted of ‘inciting the public to hatred and hostility’


Reasoning that the elements of the alleged offense did not occur, the court ruled to acquit journalist Zübeyde Sarı whom MLSA represents in court, in the trial which was brought against the journalist because of her social media posts.

The fourth hearing of the trial in which journalist Zübeyde Sarı faced “openly inciting the public to hatred and hostility” charge was held in the Bakırköy 24th Criminal Court of First Instance. The evidence cited in the indictment are 11 social media posts, which were gathered by the police via “virtual patrol”, a method which the Constitutional Court found to be unconstitutional. The posts cited as evidence include posts which contain phrases like “the Dersim Genocide” and “Kobani.”

Journalist Sarı who did not attend today’s hearing was represented by her lawyer Erselan Aktan. 

The prosecutor presented his final opinion at today’s hearing. Arguing that the posts cited as evidence against Sarı do not have the quality of provoking a section of the public to harbor hostility and animosity towards another and there is no concrete evidence proving that Sarı’s social media posts posed an open and imminent threat to public order, the prosecutor requested Sarı’s acquittal.

Stating that they agree with the prosecutor’s opinion, Sarı’s lawyer argued that “The social media posts in question do not constitute the elements of the alleged offense. The Offices of Chief Public Prosecutors issued press statements that there were ongoing investigations regarding the killing of 3 villagers in Hakkari and 2 children in Silopi. There is no question of untruthful or provocative expression or action which would provoke the public. All the social media posts are within the confines of freedom of expression. We request our client to be acquitted as the elements of the alleged offense did not occur.”

The court ruled to acquit journalist Zübeyde Sarı of the charges on the grounds that the elements of the offense Sarı was charged with did not occur.

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