Journalist Evrim Deniz detained in Amed

Evrim Deniz is the fifth journalist to be detained today by order of the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in connection with reports regarding a mass trial against Kurdish media workers.

Journalist Evrim Deniz has been taken into custody in Amed (tr. Diyarbakir), bringing the number of journalists detained today in an investigation led by the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to five. Deniz was summoned to the police station for questioning and was detained there.

In the same case, Bianet editor Evrim Kepenek, T24 editor Sibel Yükler and Mezopotamya Agency (MA) correspondents Fırat Can Arslan and Delal Akyüz have been detained and their homes searched in Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara earlier today.

The background to the case is reports of a political trial against 18 colleagues in Amed. 15 of the accused journalists, who work for Kurdish media, were held in pre-trial detention for over a year on vague "terror charges" in what was obviously a contrived trial without charges and were released on the first day of the trial a fortnight ago. The long detention was based on the false testimony of an anonymous witness.

The investigation against the journalists detained on Tuesday was triggered by Arslan's report, which brought attention to the marriage between one of the judges overseeing the Diyarbakır-based case against 18 Kurdish media workers and the prosecutor who prepared the indictment.

Following the release of the 16 journalists from prison on July 12, after a year in pretrial detention, the married judge and prosecutor were relocated from Diyarbakır to Samsun, according to Arslan's report.

Arslan had shared his report on Twitter, and the other three journalists retweeted it, leading to the current investigation by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.

Lawyer Resul Temur told Bianet that the journalists are being accused of "revealing the identity of a public official" and "marking a counterterrorism official as a target."

He said that he had met with the prosecutor, but they had not yet obtained detailed information about the content of the case file.

After the questioning of Yükler and Arslan concluded at the police station, the lawyer representing them, Nuray Özdoğan, told Bianet that the police officers had asked them why Arslan posted the original tweet and why they had retweeted it.

In response to these inquiries, the journalists firmly asserted that the retweeted post held significant news value and was a part of their journalistic activity, according to the lawyer. They maintained that the information shared in the post was not confidential but rather a public decision from the Council Judges and Prosecutors (HSK). The journalists denied any intent of targeting or endangering anyone through their retweets.