07 Jan 2019 Lvl. 1
Alert created on: 06 Dec 2018 n° 137/2018 Romania

Turkish Journalist Kamil Demirkaya Detained in Romania

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
On 5 December 2018, Turkish journalist Kamil Demirkaya was detained by the Romanian police and brought before the Court of Appeal in Bucharest on the basis of an extradition request issued by the Turkish authorities. Demirkaya was editor-in-chief of Zaman-Bulgaria media outlet between 2003 and 2011. He returned to Turkey but moved to Bucharest with his family in 2016. The extradition request is related to accusations of membership to the Gülen movement or ''FETÖ'' illegal terrorist organisation as referred by the Turkish government's lexicon. According to Demirkaya's family, the verdict should be issued on 6 December. The journalist has been living in Romania for two years now with his wife and his son, holding only a temporary residence permit. In November 2018, he filed for the extension of the residence permit, the documents are being processed by the Romanian authorities. He has no criminal record and has not committed any crime in Turkey according to documents present on the Turkish Ministry of Justice website. FAIR-MediaSind, the Romanian union of journalists, expressed its solidarity with Kamil Demirkaya and asked the authorities to release him. Romanian MEP Cristian Preda has warned that if Romania extradites the Turkish journalist, it will "lose all credibility in Brussels”. "Demirkaye runs the Zaman newspaper's Bucharest office, which criticises the Erdogan regime. Nothing is more honest,” Preda wrote on his Facebook page. He said the Romanian authorities should respect the international commitments they had made not to extradite citizens to countries where human rights are in danger, and Turkey is one such country.
07 Jan 2019: On 7 January 2019, considering that the journalist has been released and the extradition request rejected, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
14 Dec 2018
On 14 December, a Bucharest Court of Appeal judge rejected Turkey’s request to extradite Turkish journalist Kamil Demirkaye.
State replies
20 Dec 2018
Reply from the Romanian authorities
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