Turkish court sentences pro-Kurdish journalists Keskin and Çapan to prison

Eren Keskin (L) and Reyhan Çapan.

A Turkish court sentenced pro-Kurdish journalists Eren Keskin and Reyhan Çapan to 7,5 years in prison for contempt of the state by the articles published in pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem newspaper.

According to a report by Fırat news agency (ANF) on Thursday, Eren Keskin, who is also a long-time human rights activists and a lawyer, was sentenced to jail term for her activities at the time that she worked as editor-in-chief for Özgür Gündem newspaper.

İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court sentenced Keskin and Çapan to 2 years and 3 months each for contempt of the state. In another case, both journalists were sentenced to 5 years and 3 months in prison for allegedly insulting autocratic Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Journalists Hüseyin Aykol and Ersin Çaksu were also sentenced to jail terms.

Özgür Gündem newspaper was shut down back in August 2016 by a Turkish government decree under emergency rule declared in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 245 journalists and media workers were in jail as of March 26, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 189 were under arrest pending trial while only 56 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 140 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 after the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

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