Journalist who exposed rape to stand trial while alleged rapists walk free

Six people accused of having sexually assaulted a young girl in Van were released, while a lawsuit was filed against journalist Oktay Candemir, who exposed the incident, on the charge of "publicly spreading false information".

Journalist Oktay Candemir covered the rape case in Bêgirî (Muradiye) district last January. He described how the “girl, studying at Muradiye Nizamettin Aktaş High School, was  made to use drugs since 2019, and then was systematically sexually assaulted. She was suspended from school on the grounds that she was a drug addict. The people who took pictures of Y., including police and officers, raped Y. for years, using the pictures to blackmail her.”

Six people, accused by Y. were detained. Two of them were released on condition of judicial control, while 4 were arrested. A confidentiality order was placed on the file. Journalist Candemir went to the Police Department and gave a statement due to the investigation opened against him. Candemir was asked questions such as "Why did you make the news".

The alleged rapists were released, while a lawsuit was filed against journalist Candemir using article 217/A of the censorship law passed by the parliament by the AKP, that allows journalists to be prosecuted for "spreading" false news. Van Public Prosecutor's Office submitted its indictment against Candemir to the court that accepted it.

Candemir, who exposed the crime, will appear in court on 6 June 2023.