Turkish court confirms prison sentences for journalists

Turkish court confirms prison sentences for journalists – Ahval

A Turkish court on Tuesday upheld the convictions of eight journalists and executives from the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, confirming prison sentences for several prominent media figures, multiple sources reported.

“Appellate court upheld convictions in #Cumhuriyet case, saying original trial was lawfully conducted,” Expression Interrupted, a Turkish freedom of expression watchdog, tweeted early Tuesday. “Decision means prison sentences under five years finalised while the rest will now go to Court of Cassation.”

A court last year sentenced 14 staff of Cumhuriyet – one of the few remaining media voices critical of the government – to jail on charges of terrorism and supporting a U.S.-based cleric blamed for organising an attempted coup in July 2016, according to Reuters.

Journalists Kadri Gürsel and Hakan Kara, cartoonist Musa Kart, lawyer Bülent Utku, and accountant Emre Iper will be sent back to prison to complete their sentences, all of which are less than five years, Cumhuriyet said in a statement.

Editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, prominent journalist Ahmet Şık, Hikmet Çetinkaya, Orhan Erinç, Akın Atalay and Aydın Engin will appeal their sentences, all longer than five years, at a higher court, according to the Cumhuriyet statement.

“Terrible news from #Turkey ,” Milena Bynum, Turkey campaigner for rights monitor Amnesty International, tweeted .

“We condemn this decision to uphold arbitrary, politically motivated convictions #FreeTurkeyJournalists ,” the International Press Institute, a global network defending media freedom, tweeted .

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