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20 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 20 May 2019 Turkey

Journalist İdris Özyol Severely Beaten Up

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 15 May 2019, Turkish journalist İdris Özyol was assaulted by unidentified men outside his newspaper’s building, Akdeniz'de Yeni Yüzyıl, in Antalya, southwest Turkey. He was hospitalised due to injuries to his head, hands and chest. According to reports, Özyol previously received threats from a local politician, in retaliation to his journalistic work. In a letter addressed to the Turkish President, 20 international media freedom organisations urged him to openly condemn the attacks on journalists and to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.
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17 May 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 27 Nov 2015 Turkey

Imprisonment of Two Senior Editors of the Turkish Daily Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
Partner RSF AEJ EFJ/IFJ Index
On 26 November 2015, at the request of Istanbul prosecutor’s office, Can Dündar, editor of the daily Cumhuriyet and its Ankara representative Erdem Gül were taken before a judge and placed in pre-trial detention on charges of membership of a terrorist organization, espionage and divulging state secrets.

Dündar and Gül were investigated in connection with an article published in May 2015 about allegations that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) had been delivering arms to rebels in Syria. The newspaper produced a video and photos to support the claim.

In June 2015, after Cumhuriyet published the video, President Erdoğan had personally filed a complaint accusing Dündar of spying, and publicly vowed that he would ‘not get away with it.’ Since then, Cumhuriyet and Dündar were being investigated on the basis of a criminal complaint referring to several articles of the Turkish penal code. The imprisonment of the two journalists is additional evidence that the Turkish authorities are suppressing independent journalism in Turkey.

In April 2015, Can Dündar was already the subject of an alert on the Council of Europe platform, regarding his prosecution on charges of insulting Turkey’s President Erdoğan and violating the confidentiality of an investigation. Dündar had published a series of articles about a corruption investigation by prosecutors in which close associates of Mr Erdoğan were implicated.

The high number of lawsuits initiated on behalf of President Erdoğan against journalists critical of the government are consistent with a concerted attempt to intimidate his opponents to remain silent about issues which are manifestly of public interest.
Updates
New 17 May 2019
On 15 May 2019, the Istanbul 14th High criminal court dismissed the case of Erdem Gül as it was opened after the 4 months period prescribed in the Press Law regarding statute of limitations. Can Dündar was excluded from the retrial while authorities await his arrest.
New 17 May 2019
On 15 May 2019, the Istanbul 14th High criminal court dismissed the case of Erdem Gül as it was opened after the 4 months period prescribed in the Press Law regarding statute of limitations.
17 Jul 2018
On 16 July 2018, the 14th Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul ruled to acquit Erdem Gul of charges of “publishing state secrets”. Her remains on trial in another case over the MIT trucks stories, in which he is charges of ‘helping a terrorist organisation’.
28 Jul 2017
On 28 July 2017, an Istanbul court issued an interim judgment in the trial of 17 Cumhuriyet journalists and executives. This judgment states that the arrest warrant formerly issued against Can Dündar, who is tried in absentia, remains further in effect.
01 Jun 2016
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court’s ruling from May 2016 was appealed by the two journalists. The case is pending before the Supreme Court of Appeals. Can Dündar fled the country to seek asylum in Germany. Erdem Gül is waiting for the appeal verdict.
10 May 2016
On 6 May 2016, the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court convicted Can Dündar and Erdem Gül --the former for ‘obtaining and revealing state secrets’, the latter for ‘revealing state secrets’. They were respectively sentenced to five years and 10 months and five years in prison. Shortly before the Court's decision earlier that day, Dundar survived an attempted shooting where the gunman instead wounded another journalist reporting on the Court case. Both journalists were acquitted of charges of trying to overthrow the government and espionage. But the Court ordered that the charges of “knowingly and willfully” helping a terrorist organization must be separated from the trial in order to await a verdict in a separate case against the two men on charges of supporting terrorist organisations. The Court has also ordered the lifting of the ban on the two journalists’ rights to leave the country and ruled that their political rights, including the right to vote, should be restored.
29 Mar 2016
On 25 March 2016, an Istanbul court ruled for the whole trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül to be held in camera. The hearing was adjourned until 1st April 2016.
26 Feb 2016
Can Dündar and Erdem Gül were freed in the early hours of 26 February 2016 after Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that their detentions had violated their rights.
25 Feb 2016
On 25 February 2016, by a 12-3 vote, the plenary of the Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that Can Dündar and Erdem Gül's right to freedom and security, right to express and disseminate thought, and the freedom of press as guaranteed by Articles 19, 26 and 28 of the Constitution had been violated.
28 Jan 2016
On 27 January 2016, during a court hearing in Istanbul, prosecution demanded “aggravated life imprisonment and imprisonment up to 30 years” for Can Dündar and Erdem Gül.
01 Dec 2015
RSF launches international appeal for release of ​Cumhuriyet journalists
State replies
15 Dec 2015
Statement of the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe to the 1242nd meeting of the Ministrers' Deputies
07 Dec 2015
Response of the Turkish Government (information provided by the Ministry of Justice)
Follow-ups
25 Jul 2017
OSCE media freedom representative calls on Turkey to release imprisoned journalists
13 May 2016
The Council of Europe Secretary General refers to the case of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül in his address to the Committee of Ministers on 11 May 2016.
10 Mar 2016
The Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe expresses its serious concern at recent developments in Turkey with respect to restrictions on media freedom and access to pluralistic information, challenges to the decisions of the Constitutional Court.
03 Mar 2016
Secretary General welcomes the release of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül in his address to the Committee of Ministers
26 Feb 2016
Secretary General Jagland welcomes the release of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül.
14 Jan 2016
CoE Secretary General mentions the continuing detention of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül in his allocution to the Committee of Ministers about the outcome of the meeeting of the informal working group on freedom of expression in Turkey
03 Dec 2015
CoE Secretary General focuses on the arrest of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül in his address to the Committee of Ministers
30 Nov 2015
Hürriyet Daily News article quoting the statement by the spokesperson of European Council Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland
27 Nov 2015
OSCE Representative condemns arrest of journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, urges Turkey not to proceed with charges
27 Nov 2015
Ingebjørg Godskesen and Nataša Vuckovic, co-rapporteurs for PACE’s post-monitoring dialogue with Turkey question arrests of leading journalists
27 Nov 2015
Statement by Nils Muiznieks, CoE Commissioner for Human Rights
Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer
Disclaimer
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17 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 15 May 2019 Turkey

Journalist Yavuz Selim Demirağ Severly Beaten Up

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ RSF
On 10 May 2019, in Ankara, Turkish journalist Yavuz Selim Demirağ was violently attacked by a group of unidentified men armed with baseball bats. The assault took place after the journalist, a critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, appeared on a TV show in the evening. He was immediately sent to the hospital with a broken nose and brain trauma, according to his newspaper Yeniçağ. Six persons allegedly involved in the attack were arrested and then freed a day later on the grounds that the journalist's injuries were not life-threatening.
Follow-ups
17 May 2019
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative deplores physical attacks on journalists in Turkey, urges authorities to swiftly bring all responsible to justice
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16 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 10 Apr 2018 Turkey

Journalists Detained on Account of Social Media Posts Critical of the Military Operation in Afrin

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
At least four journalists have been detained in police raids since 20 January 2018 as part of a social media crackdown on individuals who shared critical comments or news regarding the ‘Operation Olive Branch’, which was launched by the Turkish army on the Syrian town of Afrin.
Van-based journalist Idris Yılmaz, was taken into custody on 21 January following a police raid on his house in Van province. He was ordered arrested on 23 January 2018 on charges of “making terrorist propaganda”. His house has been raided by the police on 20 March 2018 and according to his wife, his family members intimidated.
On 22 January, Ishak Karakaş, editor-in-chief of Halkın Nabzı newspaper and columnist for Artı Gerçek, was taken into custody during a police raid at his home in Istanbul. An Istanbul court formally arrested Karakaş on 26 January. His social media posts criticising the Turkish military’s operation in Afrin have been used as criminal evidence.
Mezopotamya news agency reporter Seda Taşkın was detained on 22 January during a police raid on her home in Ankara. Taşkın was arrested on 23 January on “membership in a terrorist organization” charges.
On 23 January, Haydar Ergül, an editor for the Demokratik Modernite magazine, who had been in custody since he was detained at the Diyarbakır Airport on 16 January, was arrested by an Istanbul court on charges of “making terrorist propaganda” and “membership in a terrorist organisation”.
Updates
New 16 May 2019
On 15 May 2019, Seda Taşkın was acquitted of charges of “aiding terrorist groups” by the appeals court, but sentenced to one year, 11 months and 10 days for “terrorism propaganda”. Her sentence was deferred.
New 05 Apr 2019
On 5 April 2019, the 22nd High Criminal Court of Istanbul issued an interim ruling deciding to release Haydar Ergül, pending trial. The court imposed on him judicial control measures in the form of an international travel ban and reporting to the nearest police station once a month. The court set 28 June 2019 as the date for the next hearing.
New 05 Apr 2019
On 26 March 2019, the 28th High Criminal Court of Istanbul convicted İshak Karakaş of “systematically disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and sentenced him to a prison term of 1 year, 6 months and 22 days. The court deferred the sentence.
21 Jan 2019
On 17 January 2019, the Court of appeal issued an interim decision ruling for the release of Seda Taşkın pending appeal. On 10 October 2018, the 2nd High Criminal Court of Muş had sentenced Taşkın to a total of 7.5 years in prison - 4 years and 2 months in prison for “aiding a terrorist organisation without being its member” and another 3 years and 4 months for “spreading propaganda for a terrorist organisation.” The decision was brought to the appellate court.
07 Jan 2019
İdris Yılmaz’s initial detention period was meant to end on 16 May 2018. He however remained in prison due to a new investigation started in February 2018, on charge of "membership in a terrorist organisation". On 3 January 2019, the Van 5. High criminal court sentenced İdris Yılmaz to a 6-year and 3-month prison sentence on this charge. On 31 December 2018 his lawyer has brought an application to the Constitutional Court.
12 Oct 2018
On 10 October 2018, Muş’ 2nd High Criminal Court sentenced Seda Taşkın to a total of seven years and six months in prison. The court sentenced the journalist to three years and four months for "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization" and four years and two months for "aiding and abetting a [terrorist] organization without being a member." The journalist is currently being held at the Sincan Women's Prison.
25 Sep 2018
On 18 September 2018, İstanbul 28. High Criminal Court ruled to lift the judicial control order that forced the defendant to give signature every week, however it rejected the request to lift the international travel ban.
09 May 2018
Editor-in-Chief of the local Istanbul daily Halkın Nabzı and Artı Gerçek columnist, İshak Karakaş, was released under judicial control measures in his first court appearance on 8 May 2018.
Follow-ups
21 Jan 2019
Relieved that Seda Taşkın was released, the OSCE Representative hopes for her acquittal on appeal.
12 Oct 2018
OSCE Representative appalled by Muş 2nd Heavy Penal Court 7.5 yrs prison sentence to reporter at Seda Taşkın for "aiding and abetting terrorist organisation as non-member".
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Idris Yılmaz
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15 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 15 May 2019 Greece

Greek CNN Reporter Mina Karamitrou's Car Destroyed by Bomb

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner CPJ EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ EFJ/IFJ
On 14 May 2019 at about 2:30 a.m., flammable liquid placed under Mina Karamitrou's car exploded, while the car was parked outside the journalist's home in the northern Athens suburb of Papagou, according to local news reports. The car was destroyed but no one was injured, according to the reports. Karamitrou is a police reporter for CNN's Greek edition, according to her author page on the network's website. She also works for private broadcaster OPEN TV. Police have opened an investigation into the bombing, according to Greek news website Skai. CNN Greece condemned the attack in a statement, calling it "an attack on the entire journalistic world." Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Tzanakopoulos condemned the attack on Twitter, describing it as a "targeting" of freedom of the press, and saying that the perpetrators should be held to account. The Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers condemned the attack stating “violence, threats and blackmail will not force colleagues to shut their mouths”.
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14 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 24 Feb 2017 Turkey

"Die Welt" Correspondent in Turkey Deniz Yücel Detained

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Article 19 AEJ CPJ Index IPI RSF
Germany daily Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel was taken into custody in Istanbul on 14 February 2017. Mr Yücel, who holds both German and Turkish citizenship, is accused by Turkish authorities of being a member of a terrorist organisation, spreading propaganda and misusing information, charges refuted by the defendant as well as media organisations. The journalist had reported – like six other journalists working for national news outlets detained at the end of December 2016 – on emails that the hacker collective RedHack had acquired from the private email account of Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak who is President Erdoğan's son-in-law. The emails allegedly revealed media outlets' control and the use of fake Twitter accounts to influence the public in favour of the ruling AK party.
Updates
New 14 May 2019
On 10 May 2019, Deniz Yücel presented his defense statement at Amtsgericht Berlin-Tiergarten Court. The journalist alleged he suffered psychological and physical violence while in prison. This statement will be relayed to the 32nd High Criminal Court in İstanbul.
New 10 May 2019
On 8 May 2019, a Turkish Appellate court has overturned the Istanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court decision rejecting the compensation claim filed by Deniz Yücel on the grounds that his year-long imprisonment in Turkey has been unlawful. His case for compensation will be heard again.
New 15 Apr 2019
On 11 April 2019, the court adjourned the next hearing to 16 July, allowing Deniz Yücel's defense statement to be heard in a Berlin rogatory court on 10 May 2019.
26 Sep 2018
On 25 September 2018, the Istanbul 17th Heavy Penal Court rejected Deniz Yücel’s request for compensation for his year-long imprisonment in Turkey.
16 Feb 2018
On 16 February 2018, a criminal court in Istanbul ordered the release of Deniz Yücel pending trial. On the same day, prosecutors presented an indictment seeking up to 18 years in jail for the journalist on charges of "spreading terrorist propaganda" and "stirring enmity".
30 Mar 2017
On 30 March 2017, following the rejection of the appeal, Yücel’s lawyers filed a complaint at the Constitutional Court.
28 Feb 2017
On 27 February 2017, Deniz Yücel was arrested after an Istanbul court ordered him to be jailed pending trial. His lawyers have appealed against his detention.
Follow-ups
16 Feb 2018
OSCE Media freedom representative welcomes the release of Deniz Yücel, adding that all charges against him should be dropped.
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
02 Mar 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media calls on Turkey to decriminalize journalistic work following arrest of Die Welt journalist
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14 May 2019 Lvl. 2
State replied
Alert created on: 05 Oct 2015 Turkey

Cumhuriyet Journalist Canan Coşkun Faces 23 Years in Prison for Alleged Insult

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Cumhuriyet journalist Canan Coşkun faces more than 23 years in prison on charges of “insulting public officials over their duties” for her report alleging that top judicial officials were able to buy discounted residences from a public real estate company.
Daily Cumhuriyet reporter Canan Coşkun reported claims that a lottery to select homebuyers for a housing project in Istanbul’s Başakşehir neighborhood was rigged to favour members of a group of judges and prosecutors with ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Updates
New 14 May 2019
Canan Coşkun was arrested on 10 May 2019 over the unpaid fine of TL 12,600 that she was given for “insulting public official”. On 11 May 2019, Canan Coşkun was brought to Istanbul Courthouse after spending one night in police custody. She was released after the fine was paid.
27 Jan 2017
On 26 January 2017, Istanbul 2nd penal Court of first instance fined journalist Canan Coşkun to 12,600 TL for her report on judges and prosecutors becoming homeowners at a discount rate.
State replies
Follow-ups
17 Mar 2016
The Venice Commission recommends that Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (Degrading Turkish Nation, State of Turkish Republic, the Organs and Institutions of the State) be redrafted and further amended with the aim of making all the notions used in it clear and specific. Application of this provision should also be limited to statements inciting to violence and hatred.
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09 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 09 May 2019 Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani Journalist Sevinc Osmanqizi Faces Harassment, Threats to Leak Intimate Photos

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner CPJ RSF
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ RSF
On 7 April 2019, pro-government broadcaster Real TV in Azerbaijan aired a segment, which CPJ has reviewed, which included audio from a private conversation between online TV journalist Sevinc Osmanqizi, who lives in the United States, and another journalist who lives in Europe. During the broadcast, a Real TV anchor accused Osmanqizi of engaging in activities against the state of Azerbaijan. Osmanqizi hosts an online TV program, "Osmanqizi TV," which discusses political issues in Azerbaijan and has featured figures from Azerbaijan's political opposition. She told CPJ that the leaked conversation took place in early April via Facebook's audio calling feature, and she did not know how Real TV obtained a recording of the conversation.

On 21 April 2019, Real TV aired another segment, which CPJ reviewed, during which an anchor threatened to release intimate photos of the journalist in seven days unless she ceased her online TV program and issued an apology. As of May 7, Osmanqizi has continued to broadcast her program, according to a CPJ review of her YouTube page.
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09 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 09 May 2019 Russian Federation

Russian Police Beat at least 1 Journalist, Arrest 2 during May Day Protests in St. Petersburg

Source of threatState
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner CPJ RSF
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ RSF
A group of at least five police officers assaulted and then arrested Timur Hadjibekov, a freelance photojournalist who works under the name George Markov, and arrested Oleg Nasonov, a photojournalist with St. Petersburg-based online news outlet Dva Stula, while they were covering a May Day march in St. Petersburg on 1 May 2019, according to Nasonov and Hadjibekov, who spoke with CPJ, and local media reports.

Police officers approached Hadjibekov and Nasonov, who were near the demonstrations which included several political parties and activists shouting anti-Putin slogans; Hadjibekov identified himself as a journalist, and police then punched him in his ribs and head and arrested him, he told CPJ. Nasonov told CPJ that police grabbed him and threw him to the ground before arresting him. Hadjibekov said that the officers took him to a police station without giving any reason for his arrest, and held him there for about two hours. He was then taken to a hospital to receive treatment for his injuries, he told CPJ.

Officers told Nasonov he was under arrest for disobeying a police officer, and held him at a police station for about four hours, he told CPJ. When he was released, officers said that he was charged with violating public order, and will be required to appear in court, he said. According to the Russian administrative code, he could be fined between 10,000 and 20,000 rubles ($152 to $305) if found guilty.

Hadjibekov said he intends to file an official complaint against the St. Petersburg police. Nasonov told CPJ that he plans to submit his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
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09 May 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 09 May 2019 Ukraine

Ukrainian Journalist in Coma Following Assault

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner CPJ Index RSF
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ Index RSF
On 4 May 2019, a passersby found investigative reporter Vadym Komarov in downtown Cherkasy, a city in eastern Ukraine, with severe head injuries and called an ambulance and the police, according to news reports. He was taken to a local hospital, and has been in a coma after undergoing brain surgery on the same day; his condition has been described as "grave," according to those reports. On the day of the attack, the Cherkasy police department issued a statement announcing that it had opened an investigation. On 5 May, the case was classified as attempted murder, according to news reports. Police did not specify whether they believed Komarov was targeted for his reporting. On 3 May, Komarov wrote on his Facebook page that he planned to publish information related to sports schools "in the coming days." The journalist's most recent work includes a report on protests in prisons for the independent Ukrainian news website Dzvin.
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20 March 2018

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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Follow-ups to alerts Follow-ups to alerts

20 March 2018

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”.

19 March 2018