The Court of Cessation in Ankara, Turkey, has acquitted journalist and Medya News-columnist Fréderike Geerdink from ‘making propaganda for a terrorist organisation’, Geerdink told MedyaNews after hearing the news from her lawyer, Ramazan Demir.
With the final ruling in the case, a legal procedure that started in 2015 has come to an end.
Geerdink was shortly detained in January 2015 and stood trial for ‘making propaganda for a terrorist organisation’ in April 2015.
Remarkably, the prosecutor asked for Geerdink’s acquittal, which was granted, after which another prosecutor appealed against the court’s decision. With today’s decision of the Court of Cessation, Geerdink’s acquittal is final.
“I constantly think about how I carry out my beloved profession as professionally as possible, and this is a very big part of who I am. And then there comes the prosecutor, who tries to deny that. But there is no denying. I am a journalist, even if you portray me as a propagandist. I plead not guilty,” she said in her defence in the trial against her, read out in Turkish in Diyarbakir court on 8 April 2015, the full version of which can be read in her website.
Geerdink had been a Turkey correspondent since 2006. In 2012, she moved to Diyarbakir to investigate the Roboski massacre of December 2011, in which 34 Kurdish border-traders were bombed and killed by the Turkish airforce.
She was the only foreign journalist based in North-Kurdistan (Southeast-Turkey).
She was eventually expelled from Turkey in September 2015. The procedure seeking to annul her continuing ban from Turkey is ongoing.
Geerdink is currently based in the Netherlands but continues to travel in and report from other parts of Kurdistan.