Journalist Mehmet Çakmakçı sent to jail by Turkish court in Diyarbakır

Journalist Mehmet Çakmakçı.

A Diyarbakır court decided to jail Kurdish journalist Mehmet Çakmakçı, who uses the pen name Şiyar Dicle, pending trial on terrorism charges on Wednesday, Evrensel daily reported.

Online news portal’s reporter Çakmakçı was imprisoned along with five other people including Kurdish PEN member writer Hasip Yanlıç, who, like Çakmakçı, was arrested in a police raid on July 4.

It was reported that Çakmakçı and Yanlıç have been charged with “membership in a terrorist organization” and that an order of confidentiality is imposed on the investigation.

Çakmakçı has been contributing to, an internet-based television station, with reports from Diyarbakır and in the vicinity. Earlier, worked for various news organizations including pro-Kurdish Azadi TV, Hayatın Sesi TV and DİHA news agency, all of which have been shut down under emergency decrees.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 264 journalists are now in jails as of July 12, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 239 are arrested pending trial, only 25 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 105 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt.

July 13, 2017

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