5 journalists receive identical indictments after months in detention for reporting state violence in Turkey

Five journalists on trial for reporting on law enforcement's severe maltreatment of two civilians received identical indictments, Mesopotamia Agency reported on Feb. 16. The journalists' research for reporting, as well as interviews with sources, were deemed evidence of their criminal activity in the indictments.

Duvar English

Five journalists detained for reporting on the severe maltreatment of two civilians by law enforcement received identical indictments after more than four months, Mesopotamia Agency reported on Feb. 16. 

The journalists were indicted on charges of "being a member of a terrorist organization" for reporting on the extreme maltreatment of civilians Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut, who were dropped into a mob of gendarmerie officers from a helicopter.

Mesopotamia Agency reporters Adnan Bilen and Cemil Uğur, Jinnews reporter Şehriban Abi and journalist Nazan Sala were detained on Oct. 9, while Mesopotamia Agency's Zeynep Durgut's trial was pending.

The indictment presented the defendants' journalistic interviews with sources, document research, and digital research as evidence of their membership of terrorist organizations. 

The news outlets that the journalists are affiliated with were accused of "creating publications that are provocative against the government," as well as "reporting against the benefit of the state and its institutions."

Bilen's employment by Mesopotamia Agency was deemed criminal activity, while Sala's possession of pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem and Kurdish daily newspaper Azadiya Welat is considered to be evidence of her guilt.

The indictment also presented Sala's social media posts criticizing the government as evidence of criminal activity, as well as journalist Abi's press card showing his employment by Kurdish Jinnews.