Muş – The now-shuttered Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter İdris Sayılğan’s case where he faces “making terror propaganda” charges based on his seven social media posts, resumed at Muş 2nd High Criminal Court today.
Journalist Sayılğan joined the hearing from İstanbul via SEGBİS, video-conference link, alongside his lawyers Zelal Pelin Doğan and Erselan Aktan, whereas the court monitors were physically present at Muş 2nd High Criminal Court.
Police ran identity checks on all journalists, who were not allowed to take notes during the hearing.
“My posts should be considered within the scope of right to information and press freedom”
The hearing began with the identification of journalist Sayılğan, and continued with him repeating his previous statements. He emphasized the fact that he is a journalist, and that his social media posts should be considered within the scope of right to information and press freedom.
Regarding his social media posts, Sayılğan stated: “These were already part of my previous case, which means that I am being tried for the same matter, for the second time. My posts do not involve any commentary or constitute a criminal act. I am a journalist and these should be considered within the scope of right to information and freedom of press”.
Prosecutor requested his punishment
The prosecutor presented their opinion as to the accusations and requested Sayılğan’s punishment for “consecutively making terror propaganda”.
Sayılğan’s lawyers Doğan and Aktan requested extra time in order to prepare and present their written defense statements. Additionally, lawyer Doğan requested a re-investigation of the evidence. The panel of judges granted the defense lawyers extra time, and adjourned the hearing until 2 December, 2020.
ARTICLE 19: Charges against Sayılğan do not comply with international standards
London-based ARTICLE 19, an independent human rights organization working to protect and promote the rights to freedom of expression and information, prepared an expert opinion regarding this case, where Sayılğan faces “terror propaganda” charges.
According to the report, the provisions under which the journalist has been charged “do not comply with international and European standards on freedom of expression as they lack sufficient clarity and foreseeability”. The expert opinion was presented to Muş 2nd High Criminal Court today, via Sayılğan’s lawyers.