Defendants in Özgür Gündem case: The struggle will continue
Hearing in the case against the Özgür Gündem Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign participants has resumed at an Istanbul court today.
The second hearing resumed in the trial of the closed Özgür Gündem daily newspaper’s Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign participants Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) Chair Prof. Dr. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Representative to Turkey, Bianet Rapporteur Erol Önderoğlu and journalist-author Ahmet Nesin. Participants of the campaign stand trial for “spreading terrorist propaganda”.
The hearing at Istanbul 13rd Heavy Penal Court was attended by Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Erol Önderoğlu and their lawyers in addition to journalists, HDK (Peoples' Democratic Congress) Co-Spokesperson Onur Hamzaoğlu and HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party) executives. On the other hand, Özgür Gündem Editor In Chief İnan Kızılkaya, who remains in jail, was not brought to the hearing.
The court board postponed the hearing to March 21 on the grounds that author Ahmet Nesin did not attend the trial.
FİNCANCI: WE WILL CONTINUE THE STRUGGLE
Journalists and a delegation made a statement to the press after the hearing. Speaking here, TİHV Chair Şebnem Korur Fincancı said the following: “Numerous journalists are standing trial today for voicing the truth. The number of journalists in prison is higher than the journalists outside. We stand by the imprisoned journalists and we will continue the struggle.”
ÖNDEROĞLU: WE HAVE DONE OUR JOB IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES
Speaking after, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Representative to Turkey, Erol Önderoğlu stated that: “We are not unions established during the AKP ruling. We existed even before them. We have done our job in all circumstances and will continue doing the same henceforward as well. We want and struggle for a Turkey where basic human rights are not violated and lives are not darkened with decrees. We will continue to give a struggle for this cause.”
GÜL: RELEASE JOURNALISTS FROM PRISONS AND COURTS
Cumhuriyet daily Ankara Representative Erdem Gül said: "True, we might be members of an organization. We are members of the journalism organization. Journalists must be released from prisons and courts immediately."
RFS SECRETARY: RIGHTS ARE FREEDOMS ARE POSTPONED
RFS Secretary General Christophe Deloire said the postponement of the trial means a postponement of democracy, human rights and freedom of expression.
POLAT: WE ARE CONCERNED OVER THE JOURNALISTS IN CUSTODY
Evrensel daily Chief Editor Fatih Polat called attention to the ongoing detention of 6 journalists for 18 days now, saying: "This is a case that would be witnessed in coup processes alone. We are concerned that the period of detention for the journalists in custody might be prolonged."
ETHA Editor Arzu Demir also criticized the arrests of journalists, saying: "The prosecutor is detaining our colleagues instead of investigating the claims on which they have reported."