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2 Turkish journalists moved from prison to house arrest

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Editor Semiha Şahin and reporter Pınar Gayıp from the Etkin News Agency (ETHA) have been released from prison into house arrest, the Bianet news website reported on Thursday.

The two Turkish journalists are standing trial on terrorism-related charges arising from their reports. They have been held behind bars for 14 months.

The court ruled to release them into house arrest on the grounds that there was no more evidence to be tampered with.

First detained in April 2018, the journalists are charged with membership in terrorist groups as well as spreading propaganda on behalf of terrorist groups.

ETHA is mentioned in the indictment as pursuing an editorial policy “in line with terrorist ideology.”

Since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, Turkey has jailed hundreds of journalists on terrorism-related charges.

According to a press freedom report released by the Council of Europe, Turkey is the world’s biggest jailer of journalists and one of the worst performers in the world in terms of freedom of speech and media.

The country ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.

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