12 Sep 2019 Lvl. 1
Alert created on: 12 Sep 2018 n° 96/2018 Turkey

Austrian Journalist Max Zirngast Detained in Turkey

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI
Austrian journalist Max Zirngast has been detained on early hours of 11 September 2018 at his apartment in Ankara by anti-terror authorities. According to some media reports, he would be detained on "terror propaganda" charges. Allegations may be related to his political publications and involvement in civil activism against the Turkish government. He was arrested along with two other Turkish citizens.

Max Zirngast, a political science student at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), has been contributing to left-wing publications such as Austrian magazine re:volt, US left-wing publication Jacobin, Turkish socialist monthly Toplumsal Özgürlük. He was publishing content often critical to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has been politically active in the election campaign of pro-kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party).
02 Oct 2019: On 2 October 2019, following the acquittal of Max Zirngast and the lifting of his travel ban, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
11 Sep 2019
On 11 September 2019, Ankara 26th Heavy Penal Court acquitted journalist Max Zirngast of all charges and lifted his travel ban.
15 Apr 2019
Max Zirngast’s first hearing took place on 11 April 2019. Judicial control measure to sign weekly attendance at police station is lifted, travel ban remained. Hearing adjourned to 11 September 2019.
04 Jan 2019
On 25 December 2018, Austrian freelance journalist Max Zirngast has been released but is still under prosecution with a travel ban.
12 Sep 2018
OSCE Representative strongly condemns detention of Austrian journalist Max Zirngast and urge authorities to immediately release him.

Key information :

Max Zirngast

Austrian freelance journalist based in Turkey, known for his civil activism against the government and publishing content critical of President Erdogan. Has contributed to left-wing publications such as Austrian magazine re:volt, US left-wing publication Jacobin, Turkish Socialist monthly Toplumsal Özgürlük.
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