The 14th hearing of the case against 46 Kurdish journalists, known to the public as the “KCK Press Trial”, was held at the Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 3 in Caglayan.

The Court dismissed the request for the removal of the ban to travel abroad the journalists have been imposed, citing Article 5 of the Decree Law No. 667. The hearing was postponed to 7 September.

The lawyers acknowledged the rejection of their request to lift the travel ban imposed on their clients but reminded the court that in similar cases the ban was lifted once the defence procedures had been completed.

Answering to the lawyers’ observation, Hakan Türkön, President of the Court, said: “It means no one knows about Law 667″.

Turkey: a prison for journalists

In its 2018 World Press Freedom Index, the international organisations Reporters Without Borders (RSF) underlined how Turkey has fallen to the 157th place in the list of countries examined for their freedom of expression record.

RSF said that “The world’s biggest prison for professional journalists, Turkey (157th) has managed to fall another two places in the past year, which saw a succession of mass trials”.

The organisation continued by stressing that “After more than a year in provisional detention, dozens of journalists have begun to be tried for alleged complicity in the July 2016 coup attempt. The first sentences to be handed down have included life imprisonment. The state of emergency in effect for nearly two years in Turkey has allowed the authorities to eradicate what was left of pluralism, opening the way for a constitutional reform consolidating President Erdogan’s grip on the country”.

In its criticism of Turkey RSF added that: “The rule of law is now just a fading memory. That was confirmed by the failure to carry out a constitutional court ruling in January 2018 ordering the immediate release of two imprisoned journalists.”

Leave a Reply