Lawyer of 15 journalists in prison calls on everyone to attend first hearing next Tuesday

Resul Temur, the lawyer of the 15 journalists who have been imprisoned for 13 months due to their professional activities, called out on everyone "whose voice is silenced, to stand with the Kurdish press on 11 July."

The first hearing of the case brought against 18 journalists, 15 of whom are in prison, who were detained on 8 June 2022 as part of an Amed-based investigation and sent to prison on 16 June due to their professional activities, will be held on Tuesday 11 July.

The first hearing will be held after 13 months of detention within the scope of the lawsuit filed against him with the allegation of "membership in a terrorist organization" with the acceptance of the indictment, which was completed on 12 March 2023. The journalists on trial are Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) co-chair Serdar Altan, Mesopotamia Agency (MA) editor Aziz Oruç, Xwebûn Journalist Editor-in-Chief Mehmet Ali Ertaş, journalists Zeynel Abidin Bulut, Ömer Çelik, Mazlum Doğan Güler, İbrahim Koyuncu, Neşe Toprak, Elif Üngür, Abdurrahman Öncü, Suat Doğuhan, Remziye Temel, Ramazan Geciken, Lezgin Akdeniz and Mehmet Şahin.

Resul Temur, the lawyer of the imprisoned journalists, spoke to the Mesopotamia Agency about the opening of the case and called for participation in the hearing to be held on 11 July.

Lawyer Temur said that many journalists were punished in this process and added that the lack of reaction to the punishment policy of the judiciary against journalists turned into mass detentions and arrests. Temur noted that there were many irregularities in the investigation, starting with the search of the production companies where the journalists worked. The search warrants for the journalists were not given to any lawyer.

Arrested for doing their job

Lawyer Temur said that the reason for the investigation was some program content  broadcast on Medya TV and Stêrk TV presented by journalists in Amed, and added: "Journalists who carry out their work here and hold programs with their own name are considered illegal. They were detained and arrested for doing their job. The programs they produced, the subjects they talked about in the programs, the language they used were subject to accusation. Within the scope of his journalistic activities, their own evaluations were used as a reason for their arrest."

Appeal to stand by journalists

Lawyer Temur said that the practice of journalism will be tried in the hearing to be held on 11 July at Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court, and added: "This trial concerns Kurdish journalists as well as other opposition journalists. It is one of these cases that concerns not only journalists but also journalist organizations. The Kurdish press is committed to telling facts and it is precisely for this that it is constantly put under pressure. Attacking the press is equivalent to suppressing the opposition. For this reason, everyone whose voices have been silenced should stand by the Kurdish press on 11 July in the name of solidarity."