Journalist sentenced to prison on terrorism charges

İbrahim Karakaş, a journalist for the Yeni Yaşam daily, was on Thursday sentenced to nine years, nine months’ imprisonment on charges of membership in a terrorist organization, Yeni Yaşam reported.

Karakaş denied the charges at the last hearing of his trial at the Adana 11th High Criminal Court. During his testimony Karakaş said he was being prosecuted for his journalistic activities and was not guilty of the charges.

Karakaş was arrested in November 2020 in Adana and has been in pre-trial detention since then. He said the prosecution’s witness who testified against him was simply slandering him to avoid jailtime.

Turkish journalists are often targeted and jailed for their journalistic activities. Turkey is one of the world’s biggest jailers of professional journalists and ranked 153rd among 180 countries in terms of press freedom, according to Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom’s “Jailed and Wanted Journalists in Turkey” database, 174 journalists are behind bars in Turkey and 167 are wanted and either in exile or at large.

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