Judge removes lawyer from courtroom during hearing of journalist Zeynep Kuray

Journalist Zeynep Kuray, who was beaten and detained while covering a demonstration for sick prisoners in Istanbul on October 28, 2022, appeared before the judge for the second time.

Journalist Zeynep Kuray is standing trial, facing charges of "resisting public authority" and "insulting public officials". The proceedings in Istanbul are based on a complaint filed by Melisa Bodur, a law enforcement officer known as the "beat cop". Bodur was given the nickname by female journalists because they are repeatedly targeted and attacked by her during protests.

Kuray also experienced this when she observed a "justice vigil" by relatives of sick prisoners in Istanbul in October 2022. The protest was violently broken up by the police and several activists and media representatives were taken into custody, including Kuray. The second hearing in the trial, which is held at the 7th Court of First Instance, took place on Tuesday.

As Kuray was not allocated a seat in the courtroom - she was to stand for the duration of the hearing - her defense lawyer Ömer Kavilli requested that the journalist be seated next to him. The request was harshly rejected and any objection against it was deemed a "disruption of proceedings" by the judge. Kavilli was removed from the courtroom on the orders of the judge. Kuray protested loudly against the action taken against the lawyer and filed an application for the judge to be recused. While a higher chamber whill decide on the request, the trial was adjourned to July 2.

Zeynep Kuray is an international award-winning journalist who has been the focus of Turkish repressive authorities for years. The 46-year-old journalist, who also works for ANF, has been imprisoned several times, including in connection with the so-called KCK operations. There are currently other cases pending against her in connection with her work as a journalist. One of these proceedings is directed against Kuray's reporting on the resistance against the deforestation of the Akbelen forest in Muğla.