Twitter follow lists considered evidence of terrorist organization membership

An indictment of six journalists has revealed that Twitter follow lists can be considered evidence of membership in a terrorist organization, the t24 news website reported on Wednesday.

The indictment, filed 187 days after the case was launched, was accepted by the court.

The journalists are accused of membership in a terrorist organization and disseminating terrorist propaganda since they followed on Twitter the news of the newspapers for which they worked and other accounts owned by RedHack, which hacked the emails of Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak.

The accounts in question have thousands of other Twitter followers in addition to the six journalists.

The journalists were also accused of harming Turkey’s national energy policy and creating the perception that Turkey is supporting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) by publishing news stories about Albayrak’s emails.

The journalists, who were accused of links to RedHack, were detained after Albayrak’s emails were hacked.

Objections to the arrest of three of the six journalists — Mahir Kanaat, Tunca Öğreten and Ömer Çelik — were rejected by the court, and they were placed in pretrial detention.

The first hearing of the trial is set for Oct. 24.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 263 journalists are now in jails as of June 24, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 239 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 105 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. (SCF with July 6, 2017

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