Veteran reporter sentenced to 6 years, 3 months in prison

Haşim Söylemez, a Turkish investigative journalist who was working for the now-closed Aksiyon magazine, was sentenced to six years, three months in prison by the İstanbul 26th High Criminal Court on charges of links to the Gülen movement.

Söylemez was arrested by a court immediately after a 2016 coup attempt as part of a post-coup crackdown targeting the Gülen movement and was later released pending trial for reasons of health.

The prosecutor also accused him of knowledge of the coup attempt beforehand. The evidence cited in the indictment was a tweet by Söylemez.

His lawyer applied to the regional appeals court after the lower court’s ruling.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 187 journalists and media workers were in jail as of June 20, 2019. Of those in prison 90 were under arrest pending trial while 97 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 167 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

The government also closed down some 200 media outlets, including Kurdish news agencies and newspapers, after a coup attempt on July 15, 2016. (SCF with

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