Kurdish production companies in Amed under police siege for a month

The Piya and Ari production companies in Amed (Diyarbakır) have been besieged by police for a month now.

On 8 June, six media outlets, including two news agencies, Mezopotamya Agency (MA) and JinNews, and Kurdish-language newspaper Xwebûn, were searched as part of an "investigation" conducted by the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against twenty journalists and two other persons. The production companies Piya, Ari and Pel were also targeted in the operation. The media materials in these facilities were confiscated by the police, and the confiscated cameras were presented to the anti-terror police department as evidence of membership in a terrorist organisation.

While the police left both offices after the search at JinNews and Pel Film Production companies, the four-storey building where Piya and Ari are based, however, has been besieged by the police for a month now. According to the legal counsel of the production companies, the public prosecutor's office does not give any information about the reasons for the measure. Policemen are waiting in front of the offices of both companies to prevent employees from entering. Journalists’ lawyers who objected to the police blockade were officially told that the search was continuing.

The 16 arrested journalists have been in Diyarbakir T-type prison since the operation. Those imprisoned on 15 June for alleged membership of a terrorist organisation are the director of the women's news agency JinNews, Safiye Alagaş, the co-chair of the Dicle Firat Journalists' Association (DFG), Serdar Altan, the editor of MA news agency, Aziz Oruç, Xwebûn editor Mehmet Ali Ertaş, and Zeynel Abidin Bulut, Ömer Çelik, Mazlum Doğan Güler, Ibrahim Koyuncu, Neşe Toprak, Elif Üngür, Abdurrahman Öncü, Suat Doğuhan, Remziye Temel, Ramazan Geciken, Lezgin Akdeniz and Mehmet Şahin.

JinNews editor Gülşen Koçuk, Esmer Tunç, Mehmet Yalçın, Kadir Bayram, Feynaz Koçuk and Ihsan Ergülen were released under reporting conditions.