Journalist Aziz Oruç has been released from prison on probation after his third hearing.
Oruç was charged with “membership of an organisation” and “propagandising for an organisation”. He was arrested and taken to Patnos L-type prison after being detained in the Doğubayazıt (Bazîd) district of Ağrı (Agirî) on 11 December 2019.
A reporter for the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Oruç had been living in Iraq for the past three years due to the lawsuits filed against him in Turkey. He said he had requested that Iran and Armenia deport him to Turkey legally, but his request was not met:
“I had to come to Turkey by my own means. As I crossed the border illegally, a lawsuit was filed against me on the charge of membership of an organisation. How can an illegal crossing of a border be deemed as a reason for membership of an organisation? I have been working as a journalist for years. In Ankara, Bingöl, Diyarbakır and Van… I was most recently working as a journalist in Hewler. These are all my activities. I am a journalist and a Kurd. Neither is a crime”.
Aziz Oruç’s lawyer, Erhan Çiftçiler, noted the statements of the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding Oruç: “It is the announcement published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs that keeps the court under pressure… The incident is a simple border violation crime”, he said.
At the third hearing on 9 November 2020, the court ruled that Oruç should be released on probation.
The next hearing will be held on 16 April 2021.