DİYARBAKIR- JINNEWS editor Gülşen Koçuk, who was detained with 20 of her colleagues in Diyarbakır and released with judicial control on the 8th day, stated that they were threatened, held for hours in handcuffs while being taken to the courthouse and said, "We will write for ourselves and for them."
On 8 June, 22 Free Press employees, including 20 journalists, were detained in Diyarbakır with a raid on their homes and production companies. While 16 journalists were arrested on charges of "being a member of a terrorist organization", four journalists and two citizens were released with judicial control.
Journalist Gülşen Koçuk is one of those released with judicial control measures. Koçuk, who got back to work at JINNEWS, where she works as an editor as soon as she was released from the eight-day detention process, spoke about the detention process and the pressures on the free press.
'OUR DETENTION WAS A PART OF THE ISOLATION IMPOSED ON KURDS'
Noting that they were detained for their journalistic activities, Koçuk said, "We have also seen that the isolation, which we often express in our reports, has spread to all areas of life while in c+ustody. It was a part of this isolation policy that we were kept in separate dark and 7-24-monitored prison cells. Maybe there was no physical violence against journalists, but we were subjected to psychological torture. Being accused of our profession, being in custody due to the news we made was a violation of our rights."
'THE OPERATION AIMED TO INTIMIDATE US'
Stating that they did not know what they were accused of when they were taken into custody, Koçuk also stated that they did not know what the "evidence of crime" within the scope of that investigation. Koçuk said, “Neither our lawyers nor us were informed. However, with the information we obtained from our lawyers, we learned that the contents of the investigation were shared with the mainstream and pro-government media without even briefing our lawyers. This showed that this file was essentially an empty intimidation operation it aimed to target the journalism profession as a whole."
'WE WERE THREATENED'
Stating that they were threatened under police custody, Koçuk said, “We were threatened by the police who said he would handcuff us on our way to the courthouse several times. They also repeatedly played some nationalist anthems, which we objected loudly. We were asked questions which did not be posed and and could not be a base for any accusations. They were trying to produce a crime with their questions. They extended the period of detention twice because they didn't have anything they could accuse us of. They were trying to find or create something.
'WHO GAVE YOU THE INSTRUCTIONS?'
Stating that she was asked questions about the headlines of the reports of JINNEWS as she is an editor of the agency, Koçuk said: "They asked me questions like if I editted some reports and if it was not me, by whom they were editted. One of the headlines they asked was published the day we were detained and they asked me if I editted it anyway. In this respect, we saw that the investigation was prepared very carelessly."
'THE COURT HAD ALREADY MADE ITS DECISION WHILE WE WERE INTERROGATED'
Stating that everyone arrested in scope of that operation was journalists, Koçuk said: "Everyone involved in the news process from the camera operator to the TV show host or the editor was arrested. It was such an operation that it aimed to punish everyone involved in the process. The person who spoke to the free press, the reporter who made them talk, the camera operator that shoot the film.. Even the cook that works in the Pel Production company was detained. So even cooking for the journalists was considered a crime. The court had already made its decision while we were interrogated. This was not an investigation. It was a revenge operation."
Speaking about the "Disinformation Law" to be brought to the General Assembly of the Parliament, Koçuk stated that the Free Press shed a light on many crimes committed in the cities of the region. The fact that the crimes committed by the law enforcement and the state was revealed distrubed them. The disinformation law is a result of this. The way to arrest the journalists to investigate a crime and break the story was paved with this law. It does not only pose a danger for the journalist, it also prevents the public from knowing the facts and the victims from demanding justice through press."
'FREE PRESS WILL CONTINUE TO WRITE'
Koçuk continued as follows: "We will write on our behlf and we will write for them too. We will work twice as hard. This is how we can liberate our friends and continue the tradition of free press. They could not destroy us so far, they can not destroy us now. The names of the governments changes, it could be AKP or some other party. Free press will continue to write and shed a light on the truth."
MA / Eylem Akdağ