Zaman Trial: Heavy prison sentences for six Turkish journalists

first_img April 28, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Turkey Six former columnists from Zaman, a now-closed Turkish newspaper, were sentenced on 6 July to prison terms as high as 10 and a half years. Five others were acquitted. Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which attended the sentencing hearing, condemns the outcome as a political verdict that followed a Kafkaesque trial. News RSF_en RSF_EECA News News to go further April 2, 2021 Find out more TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Activities in the fieldCondemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit April 2, 2021 Find out more July 6, 2018 Zaman Trial: Heavy prison sentences for six Turkish journalists Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor Help by sharing this information Organisation Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law News The verdict was handed down in Istanbul following a 10-month trial. Six former columnists for Zaman were sentenced to heavy prison terms for “membership in a terrorist organization.” The sentences for Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç and Ahmet Turan Alkan were eight years and nine months; Ibrahim Karayeğen got nine years; and Mustafa Ünal and Mümtazer Türköne were sentenced to 10 and a half years. Their colleagues İhsan Daği, Lale Kemal, Mehmet Özemir, Nuriye Ural and Orhan Kemal Cengiz, however, were pronounced not guilty. All of the defendants were acquitted on the charge of “attempting to overthrow of the government,” for which they could have faced life in prison.“This verdict gives an official blessing, once more, to the criminalization of journalism in Turkey,” said RSF representative Erol Önderoğlu, who attended the hearing. “Throughout this Kafkaesque trial, criticizing the government and covering events of public interest have been treated as a form of terrorism. Who will repair the harm done to those who have spent long months in preliminary detention? We demand acquittal on appeal for all the defendants and an end to these political trials.”Despite their convictions, Ahmet Turan Alkan and Ibrahim Karayeğen were to be freed on probation while awaiting an appeal decision. But Mustafa Ünal and Mümtazer Türköne remain in prison. Along with Erol Önderoğlu, representatives of the German consulate, of the European Union delegation in Turkey and of many NGOs, including Article 19, P24, the Media and Law Studies Association and Human Rights Watch, attended the hearing.The charges against the columnists stem essentially from their work for Zaman, the country’s highest-circulation daily before it was placed under state control, and then shuttered by decree in 2016. Its editorial policy had favoured the Gülen movement, a former government ally that was then accused of having orchestrated the coup attempt of July 2016. That was enough to accuse anyone who worked for Zaman of “membership in a terrorist organization” or of “attempting to overthrow the government and constitutional order.” These charges were filed without slightest evidence of individual participation in violent acts or attempts to justify them. In the logic of the charges, if the columnists covered scandals in which the government was implicated, or criticized its drift toward authoritarianism, the goal was to create a “perception” favouring a coup.Initially tried alongside 20 other former Zaman employees, the 11 columnists had their cases separated in April 2017. Several of them were then slowly released after long periods of preliminary detention. On an appeal from Şahin Alpay, the Constitutional Court ruled in January that preliminary detention of the 73-year-old journalist violated his rights. He was freed from prison only two months later. After another two months, he was freed from house arrest.Turkey is ranked 157th of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. An already very worrisome situation for the media has become critical under the state of emergency declared in the wake of the coup attempt of 2016. Some 150 media organizations have been closed, mass trials were held and the country holds the world record for imprisoned journalists. TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Activities in the fieldCondemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe Receive email alertslast_img read more

Hilda’s library closes the night before Classics mods

first_imgSt Hilda’s library closed three hours early on Sunday evening, with students only informed of the move that afternoon. The college made the announcement in a brief email, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, the college library will need to close this evening (Sunday 2nd March) at 10 p.m.” This is several hours early than the usual closing time of 1am.The email, sent at 2:47 pm and signed by Maria Croghan (Hilda’s librarian), added that the move was made “with sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused”. There is a strong possibility that those with exams will have had to make significant changes to their final preparations. Some classicists have voiced their discontent at the measures.One second year at another college noted, “Realistically it’s only an inconvenience for the vast majority of the student body, but if you have to take some of the hardest exams in the world the next day, you really want to avoid any disturbances at all”.The exact cause of the library’s closure is not known at this point, the full details of why the library was forced to shut are expected to emerge in the near future.last_img read more