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Freed Turkish journalist calls for release of colleagues

27 February 2016

Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar (r) and the paper’s Ankara representative Erdem Gül (l) were freed after a Constitutional Court ruling early on Friday that found their imprisonment amounted to a violation of their rights.

The two journalists were arrested in November charged with being members of a terrorist organisation, espionage and revealing confidential documents.

Immediately after he was released from a three-month-long pre-trial detention, Dündar, chief editor of Cumhuriyet,  a Turkish daily which has been critical of actions taken by the AKP government, called for the release of over 30 journalists who still remain in jail in Turkey.

After their release, Dündar and Gül spoke to the press in front of Silivri Prison, saying that all the other incarcerated journalists must also be freed.

Dündar emphasised that the “Wait for Hope” vigil, which has been held in front of the prison, with journalists, activists and rights defenders staging a protest in shifts every day, must continue until all journalists who remain behind bars are let go.

The two were charged with intentionally aiding an armed terrorist organisation and publishing material in violation of state security. Cumhuriyet published photos, videos and a report last May that it said showed intelligence officials transporting arms to Syria in trucks in 2014.

The two journalists are still looking at possible life sentences when their case goes to trial on 25th March.

Zaman

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