Expression Interrupted

Journalists and academics bear the brunt of the massive crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey. Scores of them are currently subject to criminal investigations or behind bars. This website is dedicated to tracking the legal process against them.

Court rules to keep journalist Aziz Oruç behind bars

Court rules to keep journalist Aziz Oruç behind bars

Ruling to lift the judicial control measures imposed on the undetained defendants, the court adjourned the trial until 9 November 

ÇİÇEK TAHAOĞLU, AĞRI

The second hearing in the trial of journalist Aziz Oruç on the charges of “membership of a terrorist organization” and “disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization” was held on 21 September 2020 at the 2nd High Criminal Court of Ağrı.

Oruç participated in the hearing via the video-conferencing system SEGBİS from Patnos L Type Closed Prison. The other two defendants in the case who had been released at the end of the previous hearing, Muhammet İkram Müftüoğlu and HDP Doğubayazıt District Co-chair Abdullah Ekelek, were in attendance in the courtroom.

Even though the courtroom had been arranged according to Covid-19 precautions and there were at least 6 seats available inside, the presiding judge did not allow the defendants’ relatives and journalists to monitor the hearing.

Reiterating the defense statement that he delivered at the previous hearing, Oruç reminded the court about experiencing Covid-19 conditions in prison. He said that beyond being deprived of his freedom, during this period his life had been at risk. Saying that his case file proved that he is not a member of any organization, Oruç requested to be released.

Müftüoğlu and Ekelek requested the court to lift the judicial control measures imposed on them.

Announcing its decision at the end of the hearing, the court ruled to lift the judicial control measures of the undetained defendants. Also ordering the continuation of Oruç’s pre-trial detention, the court adjourned the trial until 9 November 2020.

Due to the trials launched against him in Turkey, journalist Aziz Oruç was arrested while on the Armenian border he had reached by crossing Iran. From there he was handed over to the Iranian police. After being tortured for two days, he was thrown over barbed wires to the Turkish side of the border.

Oruç was arrested on 11 December 2019 on the Doğubayazıt-Ağrı highway. HDP Doğubayazıt District Co-Chair Abdullah Ekelek, who was with Oruç when he was being arrested and Muhammet İkram Müftüoğlu, who was arrested in a raid on his home, were jailed pending trial and charged with “aiding and abetting.”

Ekelek and Müftüoğlu were released at the end of the first hearing on 21 July 2020.

 

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