December 14, 2023

14.12.2023 – SEEMO Condemns Legal Action Against Journalist Sinan Aygül in Türkiye / Turkey

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expresses surprise over the legal proceedings initiated against journalist Sinan Aygül in Türkiye / Turkey. Aygül, who chairs the Bitlis Journalists’ Union, fell victim to a alleged physical attack on 17 June 2023 in Tatvan, Bitlis Province, Türkiye / Turkey.

In a distressing turn of events, Aygül, despite being the target of the assault, now faces charges of “insult” related to the assailants. One of the alleged attackers filed a complaint alleging that Aygül insulted him. The case will be tried through al procedure within the scope of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CMK) Article 251 and also the Article 58 of the Turkish Penal Code (Repeat Offending and Especially Dangerous Offenders) will be applied. The attackers were unexpectedly released after their arrest on 14 September 2023 on charges of “attempted murder” for the assault on Aygül.

This legal action against Aygül, a journalist known for consistently reporting on corruption allegations, is not only unjust but also threatens press freedom. The charges, if leading to a conviction, could result in a prison sentence of up to two years for Aygül.

SEEMO is monitoring this case. This incident underscores the importance of safeguarding journalists who, despite facing threats and physical harm, continue to fulfill their crucial role in society by uncovering and reporting on matters of public interest.

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.

#fyp #mediafreedom #seemo #freespeech #southeasteuropemediaorganisation #ngo #journalist #journalistunderattack #turkey #SinanAygül #journalistattacked #SEEMO #pressfreedom #mediafreedom #freemedia @sinanaygul