DİYARBAKIR - Zeynel Abidin Bulut loved journalism with the newspaper distributors he met during his imprisonment in 2009. Bulut, who was deemed worthy of an award for his news stories during this period, was once again arrested and sent to prison.
Zeynel Abidin Bulut, one of the editors of the weekly Kurdish-language newspaper Xwebûn, was arrested on June 16, along with 15 of his colleagues, after being detained in Diyarbakır on June 8. Bulut was also accused of "being a member of a terrorist organisation" like his other colleagues. However, all of the questions asked to Bulut by both the prosecution and the judge were about his professional activities. With his final arrest, Bulut went back to prison where he chose to be a journalist.
HE DECIDED TO BE A JOURNALIST IN PRISON
Bulut was first arrested in 2009. It took 3 years for Bulut to return home to his wife who gave birth. He walked into a protest and was arrested because he was wearing a traditional Kurdish scarf and sentenced to 4 years and 8 months. Being released after 3 years, Bulut started journalism because he was so effected by the newspaper distributers in prison. Bulut started distributing newspapers after he was released from prison before he started working as a reporter in Azadiya Welat, a newspaper publishing in Kurdish. Bulut was detained again in 2015 with 32 of his colleagues. After his sentence from 2009 was upheld, Bulut was sent to prison again to serve the 6 years of imprisonment he was sentenced to.
An investigastion was launched against Bulut following the news stories he wrote about his colleague who was killed in Cizre during curfews and he was sentenced to 10 months in prison for 'propagandising a terrorist organisation'. Bulut continued to work as a journalist in Rojeva Media, Welat and E-Rojname after Azadiya Welat was closed with a law decree.
Kadri Esen, the Publisher of Xwebûn newspaper, spoke about his colleague Bulut, with whom he works at Azadiya Welat newspaper.
Stating that all of his imprisoned colleagues were successful in their works, Esen said: “I knew Bulut when he was working in the Azadiya Welat newspaper in 2015. Bulut was responsible for the culture and art page of the newspaper at that time. Bulut was always in pursuit of new stories and he was always imrpoving himself. He once proved that a village in Mardin was a Yazidi village and he was awarded a price for that story.
BULUT INSISTED ON KURDISH LANGUAGE
Noting that Bulut insisted in working in his mother tongue, Esen said: "When we were working in Welat newspaper, the publishing house called us and said they could not publish the newspaper anymore. We xeroxed the newspapers and distributed it like that."
'THEY CANNOT SUCCESS TODAY'
Pointing out that the Kurdish press has been facing oppression and attacks for years, Esen said: "Their main aim is to silence the Kurdish press. We continue to work no matter what they do. Kurdish press is very used to pressures. They never achieved stopping us. We will continue to walk our path with determination."
MA / Mehmet Güleş