Journalist Toral released under judiciary control

The Turkish judiciary continues to take action against independent media. Elfazi Toral from JinNews will have to sign at the police station after her release. She was taken into custody while trying to follow a press conference.

The Turkish judiciary continues to take action against independent media, especially those in the tradition of the free Kurdish press. A court in Istanbul ordered journalist Elfazi Toral to sign at the police station, after she was released from custody. The correspondent for the JinNews news agency is said to have violated the Demonstration Law No. 2911. She is also accused of resisting state authority.

Elfazi Toral was taken into custody in Istanbul on Friday. She wanted to follow a public press conference organized by the provincial association of the HEDEP party. The statement was made against the background of a rally against Turkish violations of rights in Kurdistan that was violently broken up by the police the day before. Almost fifty people were arrested in the attack on the protest, and many were ill-treated in police custody. The security authorities prevented the press conference.

In addition to Toral, her colleague Sema Korkmaz from the magazine “Demokratik Modernite” (Democratic Modernity) and activist Edanur Aydoğdu from the HEDEP Youth Council were also taken into custody by the police in front of the HEDEP headquarters in Istanbul. After a mandatory health check, the three women were taken to the Vatan police headquarters in Istanbul's Fatih district, which is a notorious torture center.

After a night in the detention cell, Toral, Korkmaz and Aydoğdu were transferred to the court on duty in the morning. Only in the case of the JinNews reporter did the public court imposed signing at the police station.


JinNews is a feminist news agency based in the North Kurdish city of Diyarbakır (Amed). It follows in the tradition of the world's first women's news agency Jinha, which was banned by emergency decree shortly after the pseudo-coup in July 2016 in Turkey. The entire JinNews workforce is made up of women - from the editor-in-chief to the driver to the technician. Their work is not easy, as the JinNews team repeatedly comes into the focus of the Turkish repressive authorities.