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18.10.2019

Turkey: Altan & others still in jail as retrial commences on new bogus terrorism charges

On 8 October, the retrial of journalists, writers and media workers Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak, Yakup Şimşek, Fevzi Yazıcı and Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül on terrorism charges began at the High Penal Court No. 26 in Istanbul. The retrial on these charges was ordered by the Supreme Court of Appeals in July 2019.

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ARTICLE 19 and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) observed the opening hearing of the retrial. The court issued an interim decision ordering the continued detention of all defendants apart from Mehmet Altan, who had previously been released following decisions by the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights that his rights had been violated. The cases of Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak have been prioritised by the European Court of Human Rights, but are still pending. 

Download Joint Statement

The undersigned organisations call for all defendants to be released, for the trial to be halted and all charges dropped given the lack of credible evidence presented in the indictment or referred to in the Supreme Court of Appeals decision.

ARTICLE 19 
Amnesty International
Articolo 21
Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI)
Civic Space Studies Association
Danish PEN
European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF)
English PEN
Freedom House
German PEN
Global Editors Network (GEN)
Human Rights Watch
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
International Press Institute (IPI)
Norwegian PEN
Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT)
P24 (Platform for Independent Journalism)
PEN America
PEN International
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)
Swedish PEN