Mesopotamia Agency reporters Adnan Bilen and Cemil Uğur, alongside JinNews reporter Şehriban Abi and journalist Nazan Sala were arrested on the grounds that they had reported that Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut had been detained and thrown from a military helicopter by soldiers on 11 September in Çatak district in the city of Van (Wan) in Turkey. The newspaper distributors Fehim Çetiner and Şükran Erdem were released on bail.
The journalists’ testified last night after four days in custody. They were questioned about the content of their reports and about who they had received their instructions from. The journalists were then taken to the courthouse and sent to the court for arrest by the prosecutor under accusations of “membership of a terrorist organization”.
The court ordered the arrests of Adnan Bilen, Cemil Uğur, Şehriban Abi and Nazan Sala. Çetiner and Erdem were released on bail.
On 11 September 2020, two villagers Osman Şiban (50) and Servet Turgut (55) were taken into custody in the Çatak (Şax) district of Van (Wan) in Turkey after a military operation. Two days after being detained, news spread that Şiban and Turgut were in hospital. They had been tortured.
Servet Turgut lost his life on 30 September. It had been revealed that both villagers had been thrown from a military helicopter on 11 September. Hospital records and eyewitness statements confirmed that the incidents took place. After that, four journalists who investigated and reported upon these incidents, were detained on 6 October.
The police raided the Mesopotamia Agency office in Van and detained the four journalists. The police also seized cameras and technical equipment of the journalists.