Turkey arrests 26 Kurdish journalists over the past five months, report says
Turkish authorities have detained 33 Kurdish journalists, arresting 26 over the past five months, Mezopotamya news agency said on Tuesday.
All of the 26 journalists are held in jail on charges of being members of a terrorist organization, one already having a final sentence.
Kurdish journalists frequently find themselves under investigation related to terrorism charges over the Kurdish issue. Turkish authorities accuse them of publishing news benefiting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is a “crime” punishable by several years in prison under Turkey’s anti-terror laws.
Turkish police have detained 21 people in Southeastern Diyarbakir province on June 8 following office and home raids on Kurdish media companies, including JinNews and Ari, Piya and Pel productions. After eight days in police custody, 16 out of 21 Kurdish journalists and media workers have been arrested, all facing charges of terrorism over their journalistic activities. Four of them have been released on parole and one without conditions.
Despite being held in prison for over four months, no indictment has yet been prepared against the journalists.
Within the scope of a separate Ankara-based investigation, security forces detained eleven Kurdish journalists during simultaneous operations held in nine provinces on Oct.25.
Nine out of ten journalists of Mezopotamya Agency and JinNews who have testified before the court after four days in custody, have been arrested on terrorism charges.
JinNews reporter Derya Ren, who was detained on the same day, has been arrested and taken to a Diyarbakir prison, as her prison sentence in a previous case became final.