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.

Rudaw TV reporter Rawin Sterk Yıldız jailed pending trial

Rudaw TV reporter Rawin Sterk Yıldız jailed pending trial

Yıldız, who was taken into custody while covering the refugee crisis in Edirne, jailed on the charge of “spreading terrorism propaganda”

Rudaw TV reporter Rawin Sterk Yıldız, who was taken into custody on 29 February 2020 while he was covering the refugee crisis on the Turkish-Greek border, was jailed pending trial by a court in Ankara on 6 March.

Following Yıldız’s detention, Edirne Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had written to the Prosecutor’s Offices of Adana, Ankara and Istanbul on 29 February to ask whether or not legal action was going to be taken against Yıldız, who was already under investigation on the charge of “membership of a terrorist organization.” Yıldız, whose period of detention was extended during this process, was transferred to Ankara on 3 March and a confidentiality order was imposed on his case. 

After being held at the Anti-Terror Branch of the Ankara Police Department, Yıldız was brought to the Ankara Courthouse on 6 March, where he was referred to Ankara’s 7th Criminal Judgeship of Peace on the charges of “disseminating terrorist group propaganda” and “terrorist group membership.”

During his interrogation, Yıldız was questioned about his social media posts about the attack on Turkish soldiers in Syria’s Idlib. Yıldız explained in his statement that the posts in question were not shared for the purpose of spreading propaganda and were within the context of journalistic activities. Yıldız requested to be released. 

The 7th Ankara Criminal Judgeship of Peace ruled to jail Yıldız pending trial as per the prosecutor’s request on the charge of “spreading terrorism propaganda” on the grounds that “there was substantial evidence to suggest a strong suspicion of guilt.” The judgeship rejected the prosecutor’s detention request on the “terrorist group membership” charge in light of the existing evidence. Yıldız was sent to the Sincan Prison.