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Cumhuriyet marks sixth month of unlawful detention of reporters, executives

Leyla Amur

On April 28, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet marked the sixth month since its staff has been imprisoned by calling for “justice for the authors, artists, and administrators who have been arrested and detained in the operation to silence Cumhuriyet.”

Journalists and executives from the left leaning paper have been unlawfully held at Silivri Prison, a high-security state institution, according to Cumhuriyet, with the indictment written months after detainment in November. Nine journalists and senior staff, including the paper’s Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, were arrested by the İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace in early November.

In early April, Istanbul prosecutors prepared the indictment against 19 Cumhuriyet employees, including former editor-in-chief Can Dündar, who has been out of the country since the failed coup attempt in July.

The paper said that it appealed to the Constitutional Court over the unlawful detainment, which did not review the case for 3.5 months, according to the claim, with the AIHM saying that it would examine it first. The first hearing will be held on July 24, also known as Press Freedom Day.

According to numbers released by the Stockholm Centre for Freedom at the beginning of April, there were 228 jailed journalists in Turkey, a number that surpassed China, long known for also cracking down on its opposition.

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