Turkey sentences 25 journalists to jail over failed coup

  • Turkey sentences 25 journalists to jail over failed coup

Turkey sentences 25 journalists to jail over failed coup

Turkey's top appeals court on Friday quashed the verdict of leading Turkish journalist Can Dundar who was sentenced to jail in 2016, saying that he should face an even more serious charge and a longer prison term of up to 20 years.

Both were allowed to go free because of the time they had already spent in jail.

Anadolu says the court held that the chairman of the newspaper's executive board, Akin Atalay, should remain in custody.

However they remain under charge and on trial.

The next hearing in the trial was set for March 16 and the suspects still face up to 43 years in prison if convicted.

Since then, it has sentenced two journalists, three other media company employees, and a political commentator to life in prison after the government charged that they had helped start the coup with subliminal messages on a broadcast.

Also present in the courtroom were defendants who were released previous year after long stints in jail.

Singer Atilla Tas, who wrote a newspaper column and became a social media phenomenon for posting satirical tweets about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was on trial along with 28 other defendants - mostly journalists - accused of having links to Gulen, whom Turkey blames for a 2016 failed coup attempt.

"We should not be happy that we have been released because our release does not mean things have changed in Turkey regarding freedom of speech", Sabuncu told reporters. You believe in me, too.

Rights group Amnesty International said on Twitter that the ruling was "long overdue" and called for the release of all jailed journalists in Turkey.

The Cumhuriyet staff are charged with supporting, through their coverage, three organisations Turkey views as terror groups - the Kurdistan Workers' party (PKK), the ultra-left Revolutionary People's Liberation party-front (DHKP-C), and the Gulen movement. Dozens of journalists have been detained in the crackdown that followed the failed coup. More than 50,000 people have been arrested - including some 150 last week alone - and more than 110,000 people have been dismissed from state jobs.