Journalists acquitted in "Helicopter Torture" trial
Journalists Adnan Bilen, Zeynep Durgut, Cemil Uğur, Nazan Sala and Şehriban Abi, who were accused of "anti-state reporting" in the case of the so-called “helicopter torture” in Van, have been acquitted.
Journalists Adnan Bilen, Zeynep Durgut, Cemil Uğur, Nazan Sala and Şehriban Abi have been acquitted in Van of charges of "membership in a terrorist organisation". Nazan Sala was sentenced to one year and three months imprisonment for "terror propaganda" because of her work for Roj TV, which was closed ten years ago, but her sentence was suspended.
The five journalists were charged with reporting on the case of two villagers, Osman Şiban (50) and Servet Turgut (55), who were abducted, tortured and pushed out of a helicopter by the Turkish military near Çatak district in September 2020. While Şiban will probably be scarred for the rest of his life by the torture he experienced, Servet Turgut died after 20 days in a coma. To prevent critical reporting, the Turkish authorities imposed a news blackout on the case.
On the last day of the trial and the pronouncement of the verdict, only freelance journalist Nazan Sala and MA correspondents Adnan Bilen and Cemil Uğur attended with their defence lawyers. The trial was observed by the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) and the journalists' union TGS.
Adnan Bilen, Cemil Uğur, Nazan Sala and JinNews correspondent Şehriban Abi were remanded in custody for six months during the trial, but their arrest warrants were lifted in April last year.