Turkey’s top court sees no rights violations in re-arrest of journalist Altan

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Turkey’s Constitutional Court has ruled that no rights violation took place in the re-imprisonment of prominent writer and journalist Ahmet Altan after the court reviewed an individual application filed by the journalist, Turkish media outlets reported.

The top court said an individual’s imprisonment following conviction and the imposition of a prison sentence by a court does not constitute a violation of the right to freedom and security.

Altan, 70, filed the petition with the court on Nov. 21, 2019, shortly after he was re-arrested following his release under judicial supervision. He said he was re-arrested despite the fact that circumstances requiring his re-arrest were not present, and thus his right to freedom and security was violated.

The famous journalist was arrested shortly after a July 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. He was initially sentenced to life imprisonment in February 2018 for alleged links to the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding the coup attempt.

The movement strongly denies any involvement in the failed putsch.

Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the lower court that handed down life sentences to Altan and a group of other journalists who stood trial with him. Altan was a given prison sentence of 10 years, six months in a retrial on charges of aiding a terrorist organization, in early November 2019.

Dozens of critical journalists were arrested in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed coup in July 2016 under the pretext of an anti-coup fight.

One of the leading jailers of journalists in the world, Turkey was ranked 154th out of 180 countries in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in April 2020.

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