Top Court rejects imprisoned journalist Baransu’s petition for press freedom

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The Constitutional Court has unanimously rejected an individual petition from Mehmet Baransu, an outspoken journalist who has been in prison on charges of releasing classified official documents since March 2, 2015, regarding violations of press freedom, right to a fair trial and personal security.

The petition was filed by Baransu’s lawyer Sercan Sakallı on April 20, 2015.

Now that the petition is rejected by the Constitutional Court, Baransu can apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) with the same petition.

In January 2016, the Constitutional Court turned down another individual petition from Baransu on the grounds that an individual petition can only be filed at the Constitutional Court after going through all other legal channels, which Baransu has not yet exhausted. The journalist said in his petition that he was being subjected to maltreatment and torture in Silivri Prison, where he was kept in solitary confinement.

Baransu, an outspoken government critic who used to work for the Taraf daily before his arrest by the İstanbul 5th Penal Court of Peace, was put behind bars on March 2 on charges of releasing classified documents. Nearly 30 police officers raided and searched his home in İstanbul’s Eyüp district for 12 hours before detaining him for questioning in relation to documents he submitted to prosecutors in 2010, prompting a major coup trial known as “Sledgehammer” that implicated top military officers.

 

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