Cases of Free Press journalists begin

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  • 13:08 3 December 2023
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AMED - MA editors Dicle Müftüoğlu, Abdurrahman Gök and Sedat Yılmaz cases will be held consecutively within the month. Their colleagues called on journalistic professional organizations for solidarity without doubt.
The Mezopotamya Agency (MA) editors Dicle Müftüoğlu, Abdurrahman Gök and Sedat Yılmaz have been imprisoned for more than 7 months due to their journalistic activities. An indictment was prepared against Abdurrahman Gök, who was arrested on April 25 and placed in No. 1 Type F High Security Prison within the scope of the Amed(Diyarbakır)-based investigation, on the charges of "being a member of a terrorist organization" and "making propaganda for a terrorist organization". Gök, who will go on trial for the second time on December 5, will be heard at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court.
The accusation against Dicle Müftüoğlu, who is also the cochair of the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG), is "being a member of the terrorist organization" as well as "establishing and managing a terrorist organization". The first hearing of Müftüoğlu will be held at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court on December 7.
The first hearing of Sedat Yılmaz, who is accused of the same accusations as Müftüoğlu, will be held at Diyarbakır 4th High Criminal Court on December 14.
DFG, Mesopotamya Women Journalists Association (MKG) and DİSK Basın-İş will make statements in Amed, Ankara and Istanbul on December 4 in solidarity with journalists before these hearings.
MKG Board Member Arjin Dilek Öncel and DFG Secretary Gülşen Koçuk called for increasing solidarity with prisoner journalists.
MKG Board Member Arjin Dilek Öncel
Emphasizing that in order to see the democracy of a country, it is necessary to look at the imprisoned journalists in the country, Arjin Dilek Öncel said: "Turkey has bad experience on this issue. Approximately 30 free press journalists have been arrested in the last 2 years. Journalists were asked about the news they made in the cases in which they were tried, and stated that journalism activities are actually being tried. The news made by journalists was presented as an element of 'crime' with questions like, 'Why did you report about the blockaded and destroyed cities? Why did you report about the massacres of women?' Kurdish journalists are especially targeted by the government because they write about human rights violations in the cities of Kurdistan. There is a saying: 'In wars, the truth dies first.' In fact, there is an AKP-MHP government that does not want these facts to be heard."
Stating that Kurdish journalists who are under pressure while voicing the problems in Turkey give the message to those who remain silent in the attacks against them, Öncel said: "This pressure will reflect on them too.This silence is the reason why Turkish journalists working in opposition media have been targeted by the government in recent times. The example of Tele1 Editor-in-Chief Merdan Yanardağ, who was arrested and later released for criticizing the isolation imposed on PKK Leader Abdullah Öcalan. Of course, this is a result of pressure. These pressures will spread throughout society unless we speak out. Unfortunately, other opposition journalists will also suffer from this."
Stating that Kurdish journalists and distributors were massacred in the 1990s, and that this situation continues today with oppression and arrests, Öncel continued her words as follows: “As Free Press workers, we come from a tradition whose newspapers were bombed. In those years, we had many friends who came face to face with death and many who were murdered. 30 years have passed, but we still defend journalism and the Free Press. In short, journalists will not step back.”
DFG Secretary Gülşen Koçuk
Stating that the government aims to "intimidate" the society with the pressure on Kurdish journalists, DFG Secretary Gülşen Koçuk said: "Müftüoğlu and Yılmaz were arrested on May 3, World Press Freedom Day and it is a fact that this is ''ironic'. The government's aim was to silence the free press and journalism. It was to leave no one outside to report. The government could not achieve its goal. Not only did the number of people left outside increase, but our friends, whom they had taken in and arrested, continued to report from the inside. Journalists began to shed light on the prisons and reflect the truth of the prisons to the outside."
Calling on all journalists and the public to participate in the statement to be held simultaneously in Amed, Ankara and Istanbul on December 4, Koçuk said: "We know that the society's right to receive information has been violated. We invite everyone who defends freedom of the press and human rights to the statement we will make before the hearing of our friends who are targeted for their rights-oriented journalism with this awareness."
MA / Rukiye Adıgüzel

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