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.

Journalist Kibriye Evren remains behind bars at 7th hearing

Journalist Kibriye Evren remains behind bars at 7th hearing

Jin News reporter Evren, jailed pending trial since October 2018, faces up to 20 years in prison on terrorism-related charges

The seventh hearing in the trial of Jin News reporter Kibriye Evren on the charges of “membership in a terrorist group” and “terrorism propaganda” took place on 24 September 2019 at the 5th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakır.

Evren was arrested in Diyarbakır on 9 October 2018 as part of a sweeping operation targeting more than 140 individuals. She was jailed pending trial on 11 October 2018 and sent to the Diyarbakır E Type Closed Prison. She has been jailed since.

P24 monitored the latest hearing, where Evren was in attendance along with her lawyers Resul Tamur and Pirozhan Karali. Evren’s relatives, her colleagues, representatives from the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS), the Free Journalists Initiative (ÖGİ) and Mezopotamya Female Journalists Platform also observed the hearing.

Presenting their final opinion of the case during the fifth hearing of the trial in May 2019, the prosecution had asked the court to convict Evren of both charges against her and sentence the journalist to 20 years in prison.

At the beginning of the seventh hearing, minutes of previous hearings were read out due to the change in the court panel.

Then Evren addressed the court for her defense statement in response to the prosecutor’s final opinion. Evren asserted that the case file against her was an attempt at illegitimizing her journalistic activities. She explained that her social media posts that were an exercising of her right to freedom of expression and freedom of the press were labeled in the case file as “propaganda.” Rejecting the secret witness testimony against her in the case file, Evren asked to be released pending trial.

Evren’s lawyer Resul Tamur told the court that his client was taken into custody along with around 200 individuals and that among them, she was the only one who is still in detention on remand. Noting that the secret witnesses who testified against Evren gave similar accounts about numerous other suspects in various other investigations, Tamur asked the court to include the testimonies in the case file so that these secret witness accounts could be examined in full.

Lawyer Pirozhan Karali told the court that they believed their client would eventually be acquitted of the charges against her and asked the court to release Evren pending trial.

Issuing an interim decision at the end of the hearing, the court ruled to once again inquire of the Şanlıurfa Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office about a 2016 investigation file against Evren on the allegation of “terrorist group membership” and also inquire of the Mersin Chief Public Prosecutor's Office about another investigation from 2018. Ordering the continuation of Evren’s detention on remand, the court adjourned the trial until 12 November 2019.