Turkish court jails pro-Kurdish Dihaber reporter on ‘terror’ charges

Gökhan Öner, a reporter for the now-closed pro-Kurdish news agency Dihaber, has been put by a Turkish court in pretrial detention on terror charges.

Öner has been in custody since a police raid on his home in Denizli province on April 28. Turkish media reported that his detention came after a complaint about articles published earlier by Dihaber. Öner was put in pre-trial detention by the court on charges of membership in the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on Saturday.

Turkey is ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Wednesday. 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 254 journalists and media workers were in jail as of May 3, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 192 were under arrest pending trial while only 62 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 142 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 about 200 media outlets, including Kurdish TVs and papers, after a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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