Two journalists from Turkey’s Evrensel daily given suspended sentences over Art. 301

Arif Koşar (L) and Çağrı Sarı

The Evrensel daily’s managing editor Çağrı Sarı and former license owner Arif Koşar have been given suspended five-month sentences on charges related to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

Article 301 criminalizes denigration of the Turkish nation, the Turkish state, the Turkish Parliament, the government of the Republic of Turkey and the legal institutions of the state.

The journalists were given the prison sentences by the İstanbul 2nd Penal Court of First Instance on Tuesday due to an article published in the daily on March 15, 2016 that was titled: “Police open fire on public in Nusaybin: 3 injured.”

The court ruled that the journalists committed the crime of insulting the Turkish nation, the Turkish state and its institutions in the headline of the story about Nusaybin.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 264 journalists are now in jails as of May 27, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 241 are arrested pending trial, only 23 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 coup attempt. (SCF with June 6, 2017

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