Last Week

Last week in free speech: Week of July 1 – 5

Several journalism and free speech trials were held last week. Below is a list of the hearings monitored by Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) last week:

Şİrİn Kabakçı’s trial adjourned to identify the witness testimony

Trial where since shuttered Zaman daily’s Konya correspondent Şirin Kabakçı faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges adjourned until October 15th in order to go through with the necessary process to identify witness Burhan Kaya’s testimony.

Journalists Sİbel Hürtaş and Hayrİ Demİr’s trial dragged by the Ministry

Trial where Artı TV Ankara correspondent Sibel Hürtaş and journalist Hayri Demir face “making terrorist propaganda” and “inciting the public to hatred and animosity charges” for their social media posts criticizing the military operation in Afrin, Syria resumed in Ankara today. It was announced that the Ministry of Justice has not responded to the court’s request to extend the case and try the defendants pursuant to Turkish Penal Code’s Article 301 yet. The court adjourned the trial until December 3rd for this reason and refused to lift Hürtaş and Demir’s international travel ban.

Constitutional Court’s test with the Academics for Peace file continues

The First Chamber of the Constitutional Court met to review the individual applications of ten “Academics for Peace” signatories who have been convicted for “making terrorist propaganda” charges today. Professor Füsun Üstel, who has been behind bars for 55 days, is among the ten academics whose applications are being reviewed. As a result of today’s meeting, the chamber decided to refer the file over to the Court’s General Secretariat for a judgement. If the Secretariat does not review the file before the judicial recess starting on July 20th, the academics will have to wait until September.

Journalist Zİya Ataman’s trial adjourned until September

Eighth hearing of the trial where since shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Ziya Ataman faces “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state” charges was held before the Şırnak 1st High Criminal Court today. Ataman, whom MLSA represents in court, has been detained since April 11th, 2016. Public prosecutor delivered the opinion as to the merits during this hearing and demanded Ataman to be punished for “disrupting the unity and integrity of the state.” Next hearing will take place on September 24th.