Prison sentence for journalist Hülya Emeç

Journalist Hülya Emeç and her source Hafize Tunuç have been issued 6 month-long prison sentences for violating the Turkish Penal Code Article 301 for a news article.

Journalist Hülya Emeç had written an article for the incident where Şefik Tunuç (48) lost his life when his home was raided by the police 3 times back to back in 2014 in Van’s Gevaş district during her time as a reporter in the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), which has been shut down in a Statutory Decree (KHK) since.

The article had been the subject of an investigation and later lawsuit against Emeç, Tunuç’s wife Hafize Tunuç, agency executive board chairperson Zekeriya Güzüpek, managing editor Dicle Müftüoğlu and Van office chief Ferhat Çelik for violating Turkish Penal Code Article 301.

The final hearing was held in the Gevaş Criminal Court of General Jurisdiction and the journalists being tried were not present. 

The court announced the verdict in the case about the news article titled “Heart gave up after police put gun to citizen’s head in house raid” according to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code for “openly putting the Police Forces down”. The court sentenced Hülya Emeç, who wrote the article, and Hafize Tunuç, who gave a statemet, to 6 months in prison. The announcement of the verdict was postponed.

Journalists Güzüpek, Müftüoğlu and Çelik were acquitted.

Turkey has become the biggest prison in the world for journalists. According to TGDP (Solidarity with Arrested Prisoners Platform), there are 219 journalists in Turkish prisons as of August 6, 2018.