Charges filed against three journalists covering a press statement for arrested colleagues

Journalists Sibel Yükler, Yıldız Tar, and Deniz Nazlım are facing charges of "violating the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations" for covering a press statement for arrested colleagues.

On June 16, 2022, journalists Yıldız Tar, Deniz Nazlım, and Sibel Yükler wanted to participate in a planned press statement at Ankara Ulus Square for their colleagues who had been arrested in Diyarbakir. They were detained and assaulted by police at the scene.

According to the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), a case was opened against journalists Tar, Nazlım, and Yükler a year later, for violating the Law on Meetings and Demonstrations no. 2911. The prosecutor, after reviewing the footage of the gathering where the journalists were detained and assaulted, justified the case based on the journalists being part of a group that arrived in the area gradually.

The indictment prepared by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office was accepted by the Ankara 71st Criminal Court of First Instance, which scheduled the hearing for January 9, 2024.

MLSA reported that, in November 2022, journalists Tar, Nazlım, and Yükler filed a complaint against the law enforcement officers involved, using their assault reports as evidence. They accused the officers of “torture”, “insult”, “failure to report a crime”, “deprivation of liberty”, and “exceeding the limits of force”.

The prosecutor handling the investigation determined there was insufficient evidence that law enforcement officers had committed the crimes of intentional injury and torture by exceeding their authority to use force. Consequently, on April 25, 2023, it was decided that there was no need for prosecution.