Prosecutor seeks up to 14-year sentence for Özgür Gündem editors-in-chief on duty

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An İstanbul prosecutor requested prison sentences between 2 to 14 years for journalists, academics and activists who participated a campaign in solidarity with the Özgür Gündem daily, serving as “editors-in-chief on duty” for the newspaper.

Prosecutor Eşref Durmuş demanded prison sentences for the Founding President of the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV) Professor Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Turkey Representative of the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Erol Önderoğlu, writer Ahmet Aziz Nesin, Özgür Gündem Managing Editor İnan Kızılkaya and former pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Emine Beyza Üstün.

The indictment prepared by Durmuş demands prison sentences up to 14 years on charges that include “making propaganda of a terrorist organization” and “praising the offense or the offender.”

Indictment prepared for Nesin was reportedly sent to İstanbul 14th High Criminal Court, while others were sent to İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court.

Fincancı, Nesin and Önderoğlu have been serving as temporary editor-in-chief for the Özgür Gündem daily, which has been under government crackdown recently. Press freedom activists launched a campaign in solidarity with the daily, where prominent journalists and academics serve as “editor-in-chief on duty” for the newspaper.

Along with Fincancı, Nesin and Önderoğlu, Yıldırım Türker, Kemal Can, Cengiz Baysoy, İhsan Eliaçık, Beyza Üstün have been prosecuted for taking part in the campaign. They previously gave their testimony to a court in the İstanbul Çağlayan courthouse, as well as İnan Kızılkaya.

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