Home / Human Rights / Next Hearing in Cumhuriyet Trial on September 25: #LetsMeetInFreedom

Next Hearing in Cumhuriyet Trial on September 25: #LetsMeetInFreedom

Bianet reporting

Ahead of the next hearing on September 25, Leman Humor Magazine and the Journalists Outside Initiative have called on support for the Cumhuriyet trial in which 20 employees of Cumhuriyet daily are standing trial.

This week’s issue of the dissident humor magazine Leman has dedicated its back cover to the arrested executives and employees of Cumhuriyet daily.

The first hearing of the Cumhuriyet trial in which 21 defendants, six of whom are in detention on remand, had begun on July 24, 2017 before the İstanbul 27th Heavy Criminal Court and lasted five days.The second hearing began on September 11 and ended on the next day with the court ruling that the defendants remain in detention on remand.

The magazine put Cumhuriyet daily Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, Executive Board Chairperson Attorney Akın Atalay, columnist Kadri Gürsel, correspondent Ahmet Şık and accounting personnel Emre İper, who are in detention on demand, on its cover with the hashtag #özgürlükte buluşalım (#LetsMeetInFreedom)

The Journalists Outside Initiative made a call for solidarity and support for the next hearing in Cumhuriyet trial on September 25 as well.

With the hashtags #PriceForJournalism and #WhatIsItIfNotAPlot on Twitter, the Initiative drew attention to the injustice in trial.

What happened?

İstanbul Chief Public Prosecution announced on October 31 that a prosecution was launched against Cumhuriyet Foundation executives on charge of “Making publications that justify July 15 coup attempt and committing crime for PKK/KCK and FETÖ/PDY, if not their members”.

Cumhuriyet Daily Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, columnists Hakan Kara, Hikmet Çetinkaya, Aydın Engin, Kadri Gürsel, Güray Öz, cartoonist Musa Kart, Cumhuriyet Foundation Management Board members Attorney Bülent Utku, Attorney Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Önder Çelik, Bülent Yener, Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet Book Supplement Turhan Günay and Accounting Manager Günseli Özaltay were taken into custody on the same day.

The first hearing in the trial in which in which one Twitter user under arrest and 18 executives, journalists and employees from Cumhuriyet daily 11 of whom are also arrested are standing trial was held on July 24, 2017 before İstanbul Çağlayan Courthouse 27th High Criminal Court.

An interim judgement was passed on July 28 on the the fifth day of the first hearing in the trial.

The President of the court ruled that Güray Öz, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Hakan Kara, Önder Çelik, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Turhan Günay be released and Murat Sabuncu, Akın Atalay, Kadri Gürsel, Ahmet Şık and Ahmet Kemal Aydoğdu remain further in jail. The court has also decided that criminal charges be pressed against the plea of Ahmet Şık.

The second hearing began on September 11 and ended on the next day with the court ruling that the defendants remain in detention on remand.

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