Journalist investigated over report on woman’s rape by noncommissioned officer: report

Photo: Bianet

An investigation has been opened into İdris Yayla, publisher of the Jiyan Haber newspaper, for “provoking the public to hatred and hostility or denigrating it” over a report on a woman’s alleged rape by a noncommissioned officer in the eastern Turkish province of Batman, the Bianet news website reported.

Spc. Sgt. Musa O. was detained after allegedly raping İ.E. and driving her to attempt suicide, but was subsequently released under judicial supervision.

The Batman Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office indicted Yayla for publishing news reports by the Mesopotamia News Agency on the incidents. The articles were headlined “It has been revealed that a specialist sergeant abducted and raped a woman for 20 days!” “Specialist sergeant who raped a minor in Batman detained” and “The young woman who was sexually assaulted in Batman allegedly tried to commit suicide.”

Yayla went to the Batman Police Department to give a deposition on Tuesday.

He said he was asked why he published the news reports.

“They said, ‘We know you published this report first.’ Being journalists, we would have liked to have reported this first, but we were not the first to report this story. It was the Mesopotamia News Agency that first published the report, followed by Jinnews. We said we took the report from them,” he said.

“Apart from that, we published the statements of the Human Rights Association Batman branch, the Batman Bar Association and the Siirt Bar Association. How can reporting this constitute inciting people to hatred and enmity?

“This is the first time we’ve been the subject of an official investigation. We are a new newspaper in Batman. Our correspondents have already been battered and detained. … We won’t stop writing what we know is right.

“A young woman wanted to end her life; this needs to be reported. This should be written so that the perpetrator of this crime is punished.”

İ.E. attempted suicide after her ordeal. She is currently hospitalized in critical condition.

Musa O. was detained on July 17 after the rape was confirmed by a report from the Council of Forensic Medicine but was then released under judicial supervision.

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