Left-Wing Female Journalist Hatice Duman Serving Life-Time Imprisonment in Turkey

Update: 22 Oct 2015 State replied
Year 02 Apr 2015 Country Turkey Category Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
02 Apr 2015 Turkey Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1

Hatice Duman (born on 5 April 1974 in Malatya) is a female Turkish journalist and editor-in-chief of the daily Atılım (The Leap), the official newspaper of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) in Turkey. Since 9 April 2003, she is kept in prison in Gebze, after being accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation. On 16 October 2012, Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the life-time imprisonment sentence against her. The police raided her house on 9 April 2002 at around 4 pm. They described Hatice Duman as "the other female" they were searching for in relation with two robberies. She has been condemned in accordance with article 168/1 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) in connection with allegations of being a manager of a terrorist organization. Duman has been sentenced to life-time imprisonment despite all calls to release her. Alert : 1 detention

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State replies

22 Oct 2015 : Response of the Turkish Government (information provided by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Turkey)

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On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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