February 6, 2024

06.02.2024 – SEEMO is Monitoring the Case of Journalist Mahmut Altıntaş in Türkiye / Turkey

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is monitoring the case of Mahmut Altıntaş, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency (Mezopotamyaajansı/ MA – https://mezopotamyaajansi35.com/en).

Altıntaş was detained twice by police in Adıyaman, Türkiye / Turkey on 27 January 2024, initially on suspicion of terrorism propaganda and then after being released, he was again arrested. According to the officials he allegedly hit several police officers while he was handcuffed. One police officer claimed that he and other colleagues had been beaten by the journalist.

Altıntaş was on 27 January 2024 on his way to a report, when the car he was in was stopped by the police. The journalist was taken to the police headquarters because there was an order to arrest him. During his detention, Altıntaş reported being physically assaulted by police officers, who allegedly struck him and restricted his movement. Altıntaş was questioned about several social media posts, including articles written by him and other journalists from Mezopotamya and the Kurdish language newspaper Xwebûn (https://xwebun.org/).

He was released under judicial control. The mechanism is seen as an alternative to imprisonment and is used by the Turkish justice system. The basis for it is the “release under control” law that came into force in 2013.

Despite his release under judicial control, Altıntaş was subsequently detained again on charges of resisting the police and taken to a Courthouse in Adıyaman,Türkiye / Turkey. He spent the night in the local jail. The public prosecutor’s office filed a request for an arrest warrant. However, the judge did not comply with the request due to the previously imposed released under judicial control.

When Altıntaş was released, he visited a hospital to get a certified about injures.

SEEMO calls on Turkish authorities to thoroughly investigate the case and ensure Altıntaş’s safety.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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