Journalist Hayri Demir sentenced to imprisonment

Journalist Hayri Demir was sentenced in Ankara to almost two years in prison for "press propaganda for a terrorist organisation" after critical statements on digital networks.

Due to his critical reporting and posts on digital networks on the Turkish attacks on northern and eastern Syria, journalist Hayri Demir was sentenced to almost two years in prison for "press propaganda for a terrorist organisation". The prosecution had also wanted to construct a "membership" out of his critical statements and demanded a prison sentence of up to 32 years. The 15th Heavy Penal Court in Ankara only upheld the propaganda charge, stating that there was insufficient evidence of "membership".

Hayri Demir was awarded the Musa Anter Press Prize in 2013. Most recently, he published books on the situation of imprisoned HDP politicians and the imprisoned former HDP co-chair, Selahattin Demirtaş.

Demir was arrested on 16 March 2017 and released eight days later. The indictment against him, which was concluded in May 2019, was based on images and photos on memory cards stolen from his flat in February 2016 and "recovered" by the police, as well as posts on digital networks, mainly news and photos. These include recordings of a live broadcast to Kobanê, of the 2015 Newroz festival in Amed and of a public meeting of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) on 7 September 2014.