The Coalition for Women in Journalism has launched a petition for Turkey to drop charges against journalist Ayşegül Doğan, who is standing trial on accusations of being a member of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) -- a pro-Kurdish organization that faces frequent pressure from the government.15 year prison term sought for journalist Ayşegül Doğan on flimsy charges
“We are utterly concerned that yet again another journalist who performs her duties in the best sense despite all threats and pressure, is facing 'punishment.' It is unacceptable that Ayşegül Doğan is accused of 'being a member of an armed organization' due to her broadcasts on İMC TV and the interviews she made with people who contributed to the solution process that would help to bring peace between Kurdish and Turkish citizens of Turkey,” read the petition, which has been so far signed by 165 people.
On Oct. 7, the prosecutor gave his opinions on Doğan's case, based on the interviews she conducted and meetings she attended within the scope of her journalistic activities. The prosecutor demanded that Doğan be sentenced to 7.5 to 15 years in prison for the crime of "being a member of an armed organization," claiming that Doğan was active in DTK.
Turkish authorities accuse the DTK of being affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) although it has been established according to laws and in the past many members of the government and even members of intelligence agencies attended to their meetings discussing the “peace process” which collapsed in 2015.
“The Coalition For Women In Journalism stands behind Ayşegül and her fair reporting. Legal harassment of journalists through weaponization of the law should no longer be used by the Turkish authorities and fundamental rights as prescribed by the European Convention of Human Rights should be respected. We demand that the charges against Ayşegül Doğan are immediately dropped and call upon international organizations to stand in solidarity with her,” read the petition.
"Today, Ayşegül Doğan has become the target of the government due to her journalism, which touches on social issues such as the struggle for peace, women's struggle and labor."