14 Jun 2017 Lvl. 1
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Alert created on: 07 Sep 2016 n° 92/2016 Turkey

Turkey: Two Journalists Detained under State of Emergency Provisions

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Article 19 AEJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
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Partner Article 19 AEJ EFJ/IFJ RSF
Journalists Cemil Uğur and Halil İbrahim Polat have been detained for over two weeks, under 'State of Emergency' provisions in Turkey. The journalists, who work for the daily newspaper Evrensel, were detained on 23 August in the province of Mersin, Turkey. The journalists were covering a Kurdish demonstration at the time of their arrest.

According to Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD), the journalists have not been allowed family visits and, despite repeated efforts to obtain information, their families still have no clear understanding about the journalists’ situation and official charges have not yet been issued. The Mersin Police Chief reportedly refused to provide information on their situation. Furthermore, the journalists’ lawyer stated that they have been "exposed to insults and threats in prison.”
14 Jun 2017
On 13 December 2016, Cemil Uğur was freed under judicial control, and judicial control against Halil Ibrahim Polat was lifted. On 12 June 2017, the Mersin 2nd High Criminal Court has ruled that Uğur and Polat be acquitted of the crime of "being a member of a terrorist organization" but Uğur be convicted of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" for his Facebook posting regarding the photographs of Sakine Cansız, Leyla Şaylemez and Fidan Doğan who had been assassinated in Paris. His sentence has been reduced from 18 months to 15 months in prison. The sentence was deferred.
18 Oct 2016
On 6 October 2016, Evrensel’s Mersin correspondent Cemil Uğur appeared before a Mersin Criminal Judicature of Peace. The court ordered his arrest on charges of being a member of an [illegal organization] and of making propaganda on behalf of an [illegal] organization. On October 11, Evrensel reporter Halil İbrahim Polat appeared before a Mersin Criminal Judicature of Peace, following a prosecutor’s objection to his release. He was released by the court on the same day after his interrogation.
08 Sep 2016
On 8 September 2016, following a 16-day detention, Evrensel reporters Cemil Uğur and Halil İbrahim have been released on probation.
15 Feb 2017
Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
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