Turkish court gives 7,5 years to Kurdish journalist in prison on ‘terrorism’ charges

Journalist Seda Taşkın on Wednesday was sentenced to seven years, six months in prison on charges of supporting a terrorist organization and disseminating terrorist propaganda, the Mezopotamya news website reported.

She was arrested in January in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara on the basis of several tips received by the police after she had been briefly detained and released in December.

One of the tips accused her of shooting propaganda videos for “terrorists” and organizing youths for the benefit of a terrorist group, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Her tweets and phone contacts with pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies were cited as evidence in the indictment.

Although her trial was held at the Muş 2nd High Criminal Court, she has been jailed in Ankara.

Turkey is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). If Turkey falls two more places, it will make it to the list of countries on the blacklist, which have the poorest record in press freedom.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 237 journalists and media workers were in jail as of October 7, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 169 were under arrest pending trial while only 68 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 148 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down some 200 media outlets, including Kurdish news agencies and newspapers, after a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.

Terrorist propaganda and supporting terrorist groups are the most common charges that Turkish authorities use against journalists. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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