The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed deep concern regarding this week’s criminal proceedings of 17 Cumhurriyet employees, who have spent almost nine months in incarceration.
Journalists in question defended themselves against indictments such as being a part of, or aiding disseminate information on behalf of a terrorist organisation, as well as violating their editorial and managerial duties in respect to their affiliations.
These employees have spent months in jail prior to their trials (some even prior to their indictments) and face charges that seem to have been set up in a way to prove the theories of the prosecutor; many of the experts on which the court relies have questionable qualifications, etc.
The court has ordered the release of seven suspects in the trial but said the rest should be kept in jail. The seven, will be released under judicial supervision, meaning they have to report to the authorities regularly in the lead-up to the next hearing on September.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.