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.

Former DİHA reporter to appear before court on June 14

Former DİHA reporter to appear before court on June 14

Nedim Türfent, a correspondent of the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA) that was closed down with an emergency decree, will appear before a criminal court in the southeastern province of Hakkari for the first hearing of his trial on June 14, more than a year after he was first placed in pre-trial detention on terrorism charges.

Türfent was arrested on May 12, 2016 in the eastern province of Van as part of an investigation launched by the public prosecutor’s office in Yüksekova, a district in the southeastern province of Hakkari.

On May 13, Türfent was imprisoned pending trial on the charge of “membership of terrorist organization,” based on some of his reports for DİHA and secret witness testimony. He was first sent to Hakkari Prison but was later transferred to a facility in Van. He has changed prisons five times throughout his detention.

In a recent letter to Turkish Union of Journalists Chairman Gökhan Durmuş, Türfent called for support and solidarity from fellow journalists for his upcoming hearing, which will be held at Hakkari 2nd High Criminal Court.

“I have been writing from a 4-5-square-meter box, a cage. As can be seen clearly from my indictment, I have been held behind iron bars for a year because my purely journalistic activities have been deemed a crime. My first hearing following this process, which has turned into an execution of the punishment, will be held on June 14, 2017 at Hakkari 2nd High Criminal Court,” Türfent said in the letter.

In an earlier letter in May from Van High Security Prison, where he was sent to on April 26, Türfent said he was held in solitary confinement since his transfer to the facility. Türfent said he was not given any books and that the prison administration has rejected his requests to move to three-inmate cells, saying they are all occupied.