The Istanbul 1st Criminal Court of Peace on Nov. 6 released prominent journalist Şardan. Şardan was arrested five days ago on Nov. 1, on charges of “spreading misleading information to the public” in his reporting on corruption of the Turkish judiciary.
The court also imposed an international travel ban on Şardan.
Şardan was charged within the scope of the “disinformation law” due to his Oct. 31-dated article “What is in the Jurisdiction Report the MİT submitted to the Presidency?” outlining the content of a National Intelligence Agency (MİT) report which drew attention to the malpractice allegations at the Bakırköy Courthouse in Istanbul.
Adopted in December, the law seeks to criminalize the spread of what the government calls “disinformation” on the internet, and carries a jail sentence of up to three years for anyone who spreads “false or misleading” information.
The law led to three detentions, four investigations and one arrest of the journalists in the last week.
Considering the application of Şardan’s lawyers who said he was arrested “unlawfully and arbitrarily,” the Istanbul 1st Criminal Court of Peace ruled for the journalist’s release and imposed an international travel ban on him.
In his testimony, Şardan had said he did journalism “only to inform the public.”