Turkish-Swedish writer detained in Spain upon terrorism charge and insulting Turkey’s Erdoğan

Hamza Yalçın, a Turkish-Swedish journalist and writer was detained in Barcelona upon an international arrest order from Turkey over alleged terrorism and insulting Turkey’e autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Spanish police say they have detained Yalçın in Barcelona airport.

Barcelona National Police spokesman Jose Antonio Nin said on August 8 that Hamza Yalçın was detained at Barcelona airport on August 3 and is now being held pending an extradition hearing. He said Yalçın has been handed over to the court authorities.

Jonathan Lundqvist, the head of the Swedish branch of Reporters Without Borders, said Yalçın fled from Turkey to Sweden in 1984.

Journalist Yalçın, who is also a columnist in socialist-leaning Odak magazine in Turkey, has been accused of insulting Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and propagating on the behalf of a terror organization in an article published in April 2017.

Yalçın was arrested in 1979 with the accusation of being an executive of terror organization THKP-C Third Way and he took asylum to Sweden in 1984. Yalçın is a Swedish citizen and a member of Swedish Writer’s Union.

The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 275 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 5, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 251 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 109 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt.

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