Prison sentence sought for Turkish cartoonist for ‘insulting sacred values’

An indictment is seeking up to 18-month jail sentence the cartoonist Seyfi Şahin, who used to work for the closed-down popular humor magazine Gırgır, for ‘insulting sacred values’ in a controversial cartoon featuring Prophet Moses.

During a court hearing on Tuesday, which was not attended by Şahin, his lawyer said Şahin did not aim to insult the prophet of any religion and that many similar cartoons are drawn and published in the humor magazines. The court ruled that Şahin be brought to court by force for a testimony.

Gırgır was closed down in February after it published the controversial cartoon by Şahin in its latest edition. Back then, the lawyer representing the publication company printing Gırgır told media outlets that the company would file criminal complaints against the cartoonists and other staff at the magazine who are responsible for the controversial cartoon.

At the time, a statement released from the social media account of the magazine said: “We apologize to everyone we hurt for the ‘terrible’ cartoon which, we did not notice due to lack of sleep and exhaustion before it was printed.”

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 18, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 240 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 109 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. (SCF with July 19, 2017

Take a second to support Stockholm Center for Freedom on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!