Turkey arrests Kurdish journalist for alleged links to terrorism

Journalist Selahattin Kaygusuz

A court in southeastern Turkey has ruled to arrest Selahattin Kaygusuz, a Kurdish journalist who was detained last week for alleged membership in a terrorist organization,

Kaygusuz was taken into custody on October 20 during a raid on his house conducted by the police after he was denounced in witness testimony.

It’s common for journalists and media workers in Turkey to face terrorism-related accusations due to their professional activities. Those employed in the pro-Kurdish media outlets frequently are accused of membership in or propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.

Turkey’s anti-terror laws are often criticized by human rights groups and international organizations for being overly broad, giving authorities too much room for interpretation.

Nearly 200 media outlets, including dozens of pro-Kurdish organizations, were summarily shut down by executive decree-laws for alleged terrorist affiliation following a coup attempt in July 2016.

Turkey is ranked 165th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ latest press freedom index.

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