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The Second Hearing of Journalism Trial

The second hearing of the case against journalists, Sibel Hürtaş and Hayri Demir will be held on Thursday, November 22 at 10:40, criminal court no 15 (See the report on the first hearing at halagazeteciyiz.net). The journalists are accused allegedly for “propagating for terrorist organizations” and agitating masses for hatred and animosity.

Hâlâ Gazeteciyiz

The editor in chief of the Halagazeticiyiz.net, journalist Sibel Hürtaş and journalist Hayri Demir will face trial a second time at the Criminal Court, No 15, on Thursday, November 22 at 10:40. The alleged charges are “propagation on behalf of terrorist organizations” and agitating for hatred and and animosity allegedly based on their concerned social media platform sharings. The indictment asks for a penalty of imprisonment for up to 10 years 6 months.

Our editor in chief, Sibel Hürtaş had been detained for her news show on Artı TV and for retweeting the official tweets of the show and been kept under arrest for 4 days. The second hearing will be held against 11 defendants including journalist Hayri Demir who had also been detained with Hürtaş.

Hürtaş’s defense stated that the two tweets claimed by the prosecutor as criminal acts were merely sharing of what she had already reported as news and emphasized that she had acted as an independent journalist within international standards. Hürtaş, reminding that she had worked as a correspondent at supreme judiciary for a long time, stated that the prosecutor was obliged to collect evidence favoring as well as against the defendant, however, she argued that the prosecutor did not comply with the process. The picture of Hürtaş’s son at the commemoration of Hırant Dink’s killing when he was one year old had been included to the indictment and had drew attention. Hürtaş, insisting that she is just doing her job, had stated that, “journalism is not a criminal act.”

Hayri demir, who had been working for the Mezopotamya News Agency as a correspondent at the time he was detained, had pointed out that he was standing trial just for his tweets and facing a 10 year sentence, argued that, “My tweets concerning the investigation is just made of 111 words, 700 letters. For this the prosecutor asks for a sentence of 3 thousand and 780 days. That makes almost 6 days for a letter, “ and asked whether “journalism is such a severe crime?”

Translation: Benan Eres

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