An İstanbul court on Friday ruled to release journalist Hüsnü Mahalli, who was arrested on Dec. 15 on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
An indictment prepared by İstanbul Public Prosecutor Can Tuncay seeks a jail sentence of up to seven years, three months for Mahalli. The minimum jail sentence sought for the journalist is 28 months.
Mahalli, who is Syrian, has worked for various media outlets for years, writing columns on international affairs.
The journalist has been targeted by pro-government media outlets in Turkey due to his stance on the Syrian war. Mahalli has criticized the government, especially for its Syria policy.
Mahalli is known to suffer from a number of health problems. When his condition deteriorated under police custody, Mahalli was first taken to the Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty Hospital’s emergency ward and neurology service for further treatment.
On Wednesday main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş called for the immediate release of Mahalli as he has a risk of paralysis and needs special medical care in a better hospital.