Published: Sat, February 17, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

TURKEY: 6 journalists bag life sentences over failed coup attempt

TURKEY: 6 journalists bag life sentences over failed coup attempt

She cautiously welcomed news of Mr Yucel's release, saying during a news conference in Berlin: "I'm pleased just as many, many others that he was able to leave jail today".

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced six journalists and media employees accused of involvement in Turkey's 2016 failed coup attempt to life in prison without parole, the state-run news agency reported.

Prominent journalists Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak and three other media workers were convicted of crimes against the state, a charge that governments around the world are increasingly employing as a tactic to instil fear in and silence journalists who are critical of ruling authorities.

FETO and its USA -based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 that martyred 250 people and injured almost 2,200 others.

"We know that there are also other cases of people, maybe not as prominent, who remain in custody, and also for them we hope that there will be fast and constitutional judicial proceedings". "It's a decision of the century and will need to be taught in law schools".

"Imposing such a sentence would not only flout freedom of expression, it would violate the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment".

More than 38,000 people, including journalists, are in jail as part of an ongoing large-scale Turkish government crackdown on Gulen's followers launched after the coup. The six convicted Friday will most likely not fare as well, as they lack the critical worldwide media and government support that Yucel received. Mehmet Altan, an economics professor and journalist, and his journalist brother Ahmet, were charged with giving coded messages in a television talk show a day before the abortive July 15 military coup. Prosecutors deemed that their comments indicated they had prior knowledge of the coup attempt.

In January, Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that the detention of Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay, yet another journalist, was disproportionate and infringing upon their rights to liberty, freedom of expression, and freedom of the media.

Like this: