Journalist Aslan gets prison sentence over social media post

Pro-Kurdish journalist Arif Aslan in Turkey’s eastern province of Van has been charged with “aiding and abetting a terrorist organization” and given a prison sentence by a court for 1 year and 3 months over his social media posts, according to pro-Kurdish news outlets.

Journalist Aslan has been faced an investigation in January 2017 for his Facebook posts about the clashes in the region and the balance sheet of the conflict. Aslan appeared at Van 4th High Criminal Court which sentenced him to 1 year and 3 months in jail. Execution of the sentence was suspended for five years on condition of that he will not commit the same crime again.

In his defense, Aslan has said that prosecutors probe and courts have sentenced the journalists based on their subjective personal opinions, however the public’s freedom of information cannot be restricted. “So” he said that he will continue to fulfill his duty as a journalist.

According to a report released by Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) on Jan. 26, 2017, Turkish government has jailed 191 journalists so far and the most of the journalists have not even seen an indictment against them. The report also stated that 92 journalists are wanted for arrest but remain at large either in Turkey or abroad. SCF has also said that the number of media organizations seized and shut down by the government has reached 189.

Feb. 28, 2017

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