Four defendants in the Özgür Gündem newspaper case have been sentenced to prison after a trial in the İstanbul 23th Heavy Penal Court.
The Turkish-language newspaper was shut down temporarily on 16 August 2016 by the İstanbul 8th Court of Peace after being accused of making propaganda for an organisation, and then was completely shut down over a decree law.
According to Mesopotamia Agency’s report, Human Rights Association (İHD) chair Eren Keskin, who was tried on charges of “destroying the unity of the state”, “propaganda for an organisation” and “membership of an organisation”, and worked as chief editor on duty for Özgür Gündem, attended the hearing, along with managing editor Inan Kızılkaya.
The newspaper’s owner, Kemal Sancılı, and executive editor, Zana (Bilir) Kaya, did not attend the hearing.
The hearing began with the identification sides, then Keskin and Kızılkaya spoke. The court board then announced its decision and sentenced Sancılı, Kızılkaya and Keskin to six years and three months in prison for “membership of an organisation”. In addition, Kaya was sentenced to two years and one month in prison.