Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Mariya Parodi, media@aiusa.org

Press Release

A Dark Day for Press Freedom in Turkey After Politically Motivated Trial Injustice

WASHINGTON -

Following a trial court’s decision to sentence Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan to 10-and-a-half, and 8 years and 9 months in prison, on ludicrous charges of “knowingly and willingly assisting a terrorist organization,” Sara Hall, Deputy Regional Director of Campaigns for Amnesty International, said:

“The convictions of Ahmet Altan and NazlıI lıcak are shocking and the sentences imposed on them are outrageous. While it is a relief that they will be released on bail pending appeal, the fact that they have been convicted without a shred of evidence presented against them, is not justice.

“This is a yet another dark day for freedom of expression and for justice in Turkey which increases the country’s suffocating climate of fear.

“What should have been an opportunity to undo a wrong and dismiss this politically motivated prosecution, has only exposed the broken nature of Turkey’s justice system. More than a year after lifting the state of emergency and despite the promise of ‘reform,’ Turkey’s judiciary remains in a downward spiral.”

Background

Nazlı Ilıcak and Ahmet Altan have been in pre-trial detention for over three years on bogus charges. They were initially charged with “attempting to overthrow the constitutional order” and sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment. They are now being re-tried on terrorism charges following a decision by the Supreme Court of Appeals in July 2019.

Another defendant, journalist and academic Mehmet Altan was acquitted and the judicial control measures imposed on him were lifted.

The three other defendants in the case, Fevzi Yazıcı, Yakup Şimşek and Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül, reportedly received lengthy prison terms for “membership in a terrorist organization” and the court ruled for their continued detention in prison.

This statement is available at: https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/a-dark-day-for-press-freedom-in-turkey-after-politically-motivated-trial-injustice

Follow Amnesty International USA on Twitter.

###

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.

UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·


94% of Americans Oppose Big Pharma's Control of Global Covid-19 Vaccine Doses: Poll

Half of U.S. adults also consider it unacceptable that pharmaceutical corporations, which monopolized dose production, have profited substantially from vaccines developed using public funding.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


'Counseling Not Criminalization' Bill Unveiled to Boot Police From US Schools

"For too long our education system has been intertwined with the criminal legal system and the results have been tragic."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·