Trial of 14 employees of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper, which was closed by statutory decree on July 8, 2018, started today in İstanbul 23rd Heavy Penal Court. The 14 workers six of whom are pending trial in jail are charged with “being a member of an illegal organization” and “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”.
Among the observers of the hearing were Ayşe Düzkan from DİSK Press Labor, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MPs Ahmet Şık, Züleyha Gülüm and Ali Kenanoğlu.
The court board requested lawyers from İstanbul Bar Association even though all journalists had lawyers. The lawyers coming from the bar withdrew from the hearing.
Owner İhsan Yaşar, chief editor İshak Yasul, editor Hicran Urun, newspaper employee Pınar Tarlak, editor and columnist Mehmet Ali Çelebi, editor Reyhan Hacıoğlu, who are in jail pending for trial, and newspaper’s driver Ramazan Solak were heard in the hearing.
Prosecutor demanded continuation of arrest of the defendants. The court ruled for release of Pınar Tarlak on probation and continuation of arrest of other defendants..
The next hearing will be held on December 6.
About Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper
After Özgür Gündem newspaper was closed on August 16, 2016, Özgürlükçü Gündem newspaper started to be published on August 23, 2016. Published by Nesrin Media, Publishing and Distribution, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reported the arrests of Özgür Gündem's Executive Editor Zana Kaya and its Editor-in-Chief İnan Kızılkaya in the subheading of its first issue.
The 14 workers six of whom are pending trial in jail are charged with “being a member of an illegal organization” and “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”.
Defendants who are in jail: Pınar Tarlak, Hicran Urun, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, İshak Yasul, İhsan Yaşar, Mehmet Ali Çelebi.
Defendants who are not in jail: Yılmaz Yıldız, Önder Elaldı, Günay Aksoy, Fırat Benli, Ersin Çaksu, Davut Uçar, Ramazan Sola, Mizgin Fendik. (ÇT/TK)
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