Journalist Müftüoğlu case: It was decided to continue detention before the end of the defense

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  • 17:34 7 December 2023
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AMED - Imprisoned journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu said in her defense, "Many things have changed in the century, but the pressures on Kurdish journalists have not changed." The court decided to continue the detention before the defense of the lawyer ends.
The first hearing of the case in which Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) CoChair and Mezopotamya Agency (MA) editor Dicle Müftüoğlu, who is imprisoned in Sincan Women's Closed Prison, is tried on charges of "being a member of a terrorist organization" and "establishing and managing an organization", citing her professional activities, has started.  Müftüoğlu was connected to the hearing at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court via Audio and Video Information System (SEGBİS). The hearing, during which the head of the delegation was on leave, started after identification.
Müftüoğlu, who made his defense afterwards, started his speech by thanking his colleagues who came to support him. Müftüoğlu said: "The Turkish state wanted to try journalism, press and freedom of expression on trial. The pressures on Kurdish journalists are essentially the Kurdish issue and the Kurdish reality. Many things have changed in the century, but the pressures on Kurdish journalists have not changed. Many journalists, including Hrant Dink, were murdered for telling the truth. I recommend them to you too."
The court board decided to continue the detention without proceeding with the defense of other lawyers.
MLSA Co-Director Veysel Ok responded to the situation and said: "“You rejected the request for release without making a defence. You decide to continue detention without making a defense. This is against the trial procedure. The police, who were unaware of the press law, the constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights, brought news, travel and work to the prosecutor's office as evidence. They did not bring anything else outside the institution. The Prosecutor's Office also used this news in their indictment. But Mr. Prosecutor, who has a law education, despite knowing all these legal texts, brought before you this text, which is claimed to be an indictment, without any evidence other than journalism." 
Drawing attention that Müftüoğlu's approach to journalism is being judged, Ok said: “Dicle is being tried for reporting the facts. No prosecutor or judge can question a journalist's working method, how she writes the news, where she publishes the news, where she goes while making that news, who she meets with. There were people who made this question in the past, and now they do not remember it well. The prosecutor's office is not the place to read intentions. The prosecutor's office clearly read the intent. In criminal law, it is not based on intentions."
Ok said: "The client has been detained for more than 7 months, with two contradictory witness statements, one of which is confidential," and requested release and acquittal.
Lawyer Emine Özarslan said: "I do not demand release because you have made your decision."
The court panel decided to hear the secret and open witness Kerem Gökalp and to ask the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office whether there is any further investigation against journalist Müftüoğlu.
The hearing was postponed to January 18, 2024.

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