Turkish historian Ayşe Hür sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison over her Twitter post

A Turkish court sentenced Ayşe Hür, a Turkish historian, columnist and TV commentator, to 1 year and 3 month in prison over her social media posts on Tuesday. The court has also ruled to delay the implementation of the sentence for 5 years.

Turkish prosecutors had started an investigation about Ayşe Hür who had shared her comment on his personal Twitter account over the killing of 8 Turkish soldiers as a result of the blast of an explosive on the highway between Siirt and Pervari in 20105. Hür had stated that “The perpetrator of the attack in Siirt is unknown. Because nobody has claimed it yet.”

According to a report by online news outlet Artı Gerçek, Ayşe Hür, who did not hire a lawyer during proceedings of her trial, also announced the penalty given by the court  through a post on her Twitter account.

Ayşe Hür stated that “I had a hearing today on violation of Turkish Anti-Terror Law (TMK) Art. 7/2. The court sentenced me from a single tweet that consists of a sociological definition (despite of my 25 tweets that criticized the alleged crime): 1 year and 3 months. The announcement of the sentence has been postponed. They will implement if I commit the same crime within 5 years. ”

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 256 journalists and media workers were in jail as of April 11, 2018, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 197 were under arrest pending trial while only 58 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.

Meanwhile, renowned Turkish singer Suavi Saygan was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison over his alleged insult to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a speech he gave in an activity in İzmir on October 29, 2016. The prison sentence was converted by the court to the monetary fine of 14,000 TL (approximately 3,500 US dollar).

Scores of people in Turkey have been detained or arrested or are under investigation on allegations of insulting President Erdoğan in social media posts. As of the end of 2016, at least 10,000 people were under investigation on suspicion of terrorist propaganda and insulting senior state officials on social media.

A total of 1,080 people were convicted of insulting Erdoğan in 2016, according to data from Turkey’s Justice Ministry. Data also showed that 4,936 cases were launched against people on charges of insult in 2016.

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