February 13, 2024

13.02.2024 – Concerns Rise Over the Detention of Journalist Kibriye Evren

The detention of journalist Kibriye Evren in Türkiye / Turkey, known for her work with the Kurdish-focused JINNEWS (https://jinnews41.xyz/), during a morning raid on her home in Tuzla, a district in Istanbul on 9 February 2024, has sparked concerns among colleagues. Evren was taken to the Kocaeli anti-terror bureau, where her phone was confiscated, and she was subjected to a 24-hour lawyer restriction. She was was released on 12 February 2024 after three days of detention.

This incident follows a history of intimidation against Evren, including previous baseless legal charges and a lengthy detention.

Furthermore, objections have been raised regarding the legality of Evren’s detention, as it was revealed that there is a three-year restriction order on her file. She was taken into custody on allegations of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “providing finance to the organization” for sending money to a friend who was in prison in 2021.

Her lawyer, Şule Recepoğlu, highlighted the lack of concrete evidence and transparency in the investigation, questioning the necessity of Evren’s detention.

Additionally, concerns were raised about the operation and investigation procedures allegedly being against the law, with neither Evren nor her lawyers being informed about the accusations against her. The objection petition requested that the arrest and detention decision be deemed unlawful and called for access to the documents in the file.

The journalist has faced incarceration on multiple occasions, with her most recent period of detention spanning from 2018 to 2019, during which she spent over a year in confinement at the women’s prison in Amed (Diyarbakır), Türkiye / Turkey. Following her release, Evren provided assistance to a former detainee by offering modest financial aid, as reported by JinNews. Turkish authorities have levied accusations of funding a terrorist organization against her based on this action.

Alongside Evren, 15 other individuals were also detained and are being held at Kocaeli TEM Branch. These development underscore the ongoing challenges faced by journalists, particularly those reporting on Kurdish issues, in Türkiye / Turkey, where media outlets and reporters are subjected to systematic persecution and restrictions.

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the recent detention of journalist Kibriye Evren, expressing deep concern over the circumstances surrounding her arrest. SEEMO urges the authorities to provide transparent and justifiable reasons for her detention. This arbitrary action against a journalist undermines press freedom and raises serious questions about the state of media freedom in the region.

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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