An Istanbul prosecutor decided not to prosecute journalist Emre Orman, who reported on the statement made by the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) regarding the torture and murder of Ahmet Güreşçi at a gendarmerie station. The prosecutor who dismissed the investigation initiated against Orman over suspicion of “openly insulting the state’s military organization,” “fabricating offense,” and “openly disseminating information misleading the public” emphasized “press freedom” in his decision.
On February 12th, the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) announced that Ahmet Güreşçi, one of two people detained by the gendarmerie in earthquake-stricken Hatay, had died as a result of torture at a gendermarie station, and that they had confirmed the reports of torture.
On the same day, journalist Emre Orman, who also referred to the rising hatred towards refugees in the earthquake region, shared the ÇHD’s statement on his social media account, saying, “And it happened as expected: A person died from torture in custody!”
Upon the complaints of the General Directorate of Security and the Gendarmerie General Command, the Istanbul Anatolian Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office initiated an investigation against journalist Orman over the suspicion of “openly insulting the state’s military organization (Turkish Penal Code Article 301/2)”, “fabricating offense (Turkish Penal Code Article 271)” and “openly disseminating information misleading the public (Turkish Penal Code Article 217/A).”
Orman gave a statement to the prosecutor’s office on April 13th, accompanied by lawyers from the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) Legal Team. Orman stated that he shared the said post to inform the public as required by his profession and that he had no intention of committing any crime. He pointed out that the incident mentioned in his social media post was announced and confirmed by the ÇHD.
The prosecutor, who announced his decision on 2 May 2023, stated that he also examined the documents obtained from the Altınözü Republic Prosecutor’s Office, which is conducting an investigation into the torture allegations at the gendermarie station. He emphasized that the charged action falls within the scope of freedom of the press, and therefore, the legal elements of the charges against Orman did not occur, and decided that there was no place for prosecution.
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