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Kurdish journalist two year jail for suporting PKK

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Kurdish journalist two year jail for suporting PKK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:59 am

Kurdish journalist
two year jail sentence


A Kurdish journalist has been sentenced to over two years in prison by a Turkish court in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir on Monday for terror-related charges

For several years, Aziz Oruc worked for Dicle News Agency (DIHA), a channel shut down for its affiliation to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by the Turkish government in 2016.

A case was launched against him back in 2009 for alleged ties to the PKK, which the Turkish state considers to be a terrorist organization. Turkish authorities pressed terrorism charges against Oruc in 2017, forcing him to flee arrest with his wife and children to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, where he continued to work in media.

Diyarbakir’s 9th heavy penal court handed him a two year and a month sentence on Monday for "propagandizing for a terrorist organization," in reference to the PKK, an armed group that has fought the Turkish state for greater Kurdish rights in the country for close to four decades.

Living in continued fear of Turkish prosecution while living in the Kurdistan Region, Oruc attempted to reach Europe to claim asylum. Unable to take the conventional asylum route to Europe through Turkey, he crossed into Iran and headed north to Armenia.

But without the necessary paperwork to enter Armenia, border authorities detained him and deported him back to Iran, from where he was forced to return to Turkey.

Abdullah Ekelek, head of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) office in Dogubayazit, Agri province, traveled to the nearby Iranian border to meet Oruc and facilitate his escape to Europe.

Before Oruc could leave Dogubayazit, Turkish forces swooped in to detain him and Ekelek on December 11. Oruc was formally arrested on December 18, and has since been held in detention at Patnos Prison in Agri.

Attending his Monday court hearing at via videophone, Oruc dismissed the accusations he faced as unfounded.

“I am a journalist. The posts shared are news content. 10 of my posts stated in the indictment are news, [they have] no propaganda content," he told the judge in his defense, reported independent Turkish news outlet Bianet.

Turkey ranked 157 out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) press freedom index for 2019. According to the same index, the country is the world’s most prolific jailer of journalists.

Turkish authorities have arrested dozens of journalists for their coverage of its operations against the PKK and cross-border military operations against Kurdish authorities in northeast Syria. Many other pro-opposition journalists have been arrested for their opposition to Turkish domestic policy.

A Rudaw reporter and his cameraman, as well as two other journalists working for the pro-Kurdish Mesopotamian News Agency (Mezopotamya Ajansi), were detained by Turkish authorities on Saturday while covering the migrant crisis unfolding near Turkey’s border with Greece and Bulgaria.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeas ... /020320201
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Kurdish journalist two year jail for suporting PKK

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