Court issues detention warrant for journalist Nesin on terror charges

Writer and journalist Ahmet Nesin.

An İstanbul court has issued a detention warrant for writer and journalist Ahmet Nesin, son of famous and late Turkish novelist Aziz Nesin, on charges of making the propaganda of a terror organization for lending support to the Özgür Gündem daily closed down by the government.

In order to extend his support to the daily, Nesin served as its editor-in-chief on duty for one day last year.

Özgür Gündem, a critical daily which was published in Turkish and Kurdish, was temporarily closed down on Aug.16 on charges of making the propaganda of a terror organization, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The daily was permanently closed down by a government decree on Oct.29.

The detention warrant for Nesin was issued by the İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court.

Nesin was detained along with the Founding President of the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV) Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Turkey Representative of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Erol Önderoğlu on June 20. He was released after spending 11 days in prison.

Along with Fincancı, Nesin and Önderoğlu, many other writers and intellectuals have been prosecuted and even jailed for taking part in the campaign to support Özgür Gündem.

As of March 1, 2017, Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has confirmed that 200 journalists and media workers are behind bars in Turkey, a world record by any measure. Of these journalists, 179 are arrested pending trial and without a conviction. Most of the journalists do not even know what the charges are or what evidence, if any, the government has because the indictments were not filed yet.

The Turkish government is apparently using arbitrary arrests as part of intimidation campaign to suppress critical coverage, muzzle independent media and silence journalists. Only 21 journalists who are in jail were convicted while the rest are in abusive and long pre-trial detentions. Moreover, sweeping detention warrants have been issued for 92 journalists who are forced to live in exile abroad or remain at large in Turkey. (SCF with March 21, 2017

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