Amnesty International has denounced the imprisonment of journalists in Turkey under charges of “assisting a terrorist organisation”.
Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan were sentenced to 10 and a half years and 8 years and 9 months respectively after having spent three years detained pre-trial. Their legal representatives are currently having their cases retried following the decision against them by the Supreme Court of Appeals in July 2019.
Amnesty has condemned what they describe as a “politically motivated prosecution”.
Sara Hall, Deputy Regional Director of Campaigns for Amnesty International, has said on the matter
“This is a yet another dark day for freedom of expression and for justice in Turkey which increases the country’s suffocating climate of fear”.
She further stated;
“What should have been an opportunity to undo a wrong and dismiss this politically motivated prosecution, has only exposed the broken nature of Turkey’s justice system. More than a year after lifting the state of emergency and despite the promise of ‘reform’, Turkey’s judiciary remains in a downward spiral.”
Amnesty notes that Mehmet Altan, an academic and journalist, who was held for similar reasons was acquitted, three other defendants have received lengthy sentences. Fevzi Yazıcı, Yakup Şimşek and Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül have been ordered by the courts to continue their detention for allegedly being “membership in a terrorist organisation”.
Read Amnesty International's full statement here.