Journalists Adnan Bilen, Cemil Uğur, Şehriban Abi, and Nazan Sala were imprisoned after they reported on two villagers who were tortured and thrown from a helicopter by soldiers in Van (Wan). They were arrested for “reporting on social events against the state” and have been in prison for 100 days.
No indictment has been prepared, the lawsuit has not been opened and no progress has been made regarding the case. Speaking about the imprisonment of the four journalists, Mesopotamia Agency (MA) editor Gökhan Altay said, “When we look at the article which justified the arrest of our friends and also the so-called evidence submitted to their file, it is obvious that this indictment should have been prepared a long time ago”. Altay believes the authorities are trying to keep the journalists in prison. “That is why the indictment has not yet been prepared”, he said.
Altay also said that the journalists are responsible to the public. “If our four journalist friends did not do that report, no one would have written about what happened to Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut. Our friends have been detained and punished for 100 days for revealing this truth. However, these punishments cannot stop them. We have never been the kind of journalists who act only with the governor’s statements. We never think ‘if I write this, I will lose my job'”.
Jin News Reporter Dilan Babat expressed a similar sentiment: “100 days have passed since our friends Adnan Bilen Şehriban Abi, Nazan Sala, and Cemil Uğur were detained and arrested. The government is trying to silence the press, either by opening investigations against journalists on absurd grounds or by sending them to prisons with penalties without concrete evidence. Hundreds of journalists are in prison in Turkey however we will continue to write about the truth”.
Four journalists arrested for reporting about villagers thrown from a military helicopter in Turkey