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.

Zehra Doğan

Zehra Doğan

Zehra Doğan, 28, is a reporter and an editor of the pro-Kurdish Jin News Agency (JİNHA), which is staffed entirely by women.

Doğan, also a painter, was arrested by the police on July 21, 2016 in the southeastern province of Mardin. She was jailed pending trial two days later on the charge of “being a member of a terrorist organization,” based on her reports from Nusaybin, a district in Mardin, her paintings about military operations in the district and an accompanying curfew, her social media posts and witness statements.

Doğan was subsequently formally charged with “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorism propaganda” in an indictment.

On 9 December 2016, more than four months into her pre-trial detention, Doğan appeared before judges of the Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court for the first hearing of her trial. The court acquitted her of the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization” and decided to release her pending trial on the charge of “terrorism propaganda.”

On 2 March 2017, the court sentenced Doğan to 2 years, 9 months and 22 days in jail for “terrorism propaganda.” The ruling was upheld by an appeals court on 2 June.

On 12 June 2017, Doğan was detained as she was traveling from Diyarbakır to Mardin and sent to Diyarbakır E-Type Prison to serve her prison term.

In October 2018, Doğan and 19 other inmates were transferred to the Tarsus Prison in Mersin against their wishes.

Doğan was released from the Tarsus Prison on 24 February 2019 upon the completion of her prison sentence.