June 25, 2022

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the media in Ankara on March 9.Burhan Ozbilici/The Related Press

A Turkish court docket on Friday sentenced journalist Sedef Kabas to greater than two years in jail after ruling that she insulted the president, regardless of a ruling by Europe’s high rights court docket that the related legislation ought to be amended to safeguard free expression.

Hundreds of individuals have been tried and convicted beneath the legislation overlaying insults to the president in Turkey, together with pro-Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas, one in every of most outstanding opposition figures.

Turkey is among the world’s high jailer of journalists and mainstream media is managed by these near President Tayyip Erdogan’s authorities, with protection favouring his administration.

Kabas, a 52-year-old tv journalist who primarily covers Turkish politics, had been in pre-trial detention since late January. She was sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in jail on Friday however launched pending an enchantment in opposition to the decision, her lawyer Bahar Unluer Ozturk informed Reuters.

Kabas was acquitted of extra prices of insulting Inside Minister Suleyman Soylu and Transportation Minister Adil Karaismailoglu, Ozturk added.

The alleged insult was within the type of a proverb associated to a palace that Kabas uttered each on an opposition tv channel and on her Twitter account. Her feedback on the time drew condemnation from authorities officers, who appeared to take them as referring to Erdogan and the presidential palace.

Whereas the Turkish authorities has not commented publicly on the legislation, members of Erdogan’s AK Celebration on the time decried Kabas’ feedback, calling them “unacceptable” and “immoral”.

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The European Court docket of Human Rights (ECHR) said in October that the laws outlawing insults to the Turkish president ought to be modified, after ruling that freedom of expression was violated on account of detentions imposed beneath the legislation.

Greater than 160,000 investigations had been launched on suspicion of insults to Erdogan since 2014, the 12 months he grew to become president, with greater than 12,880 convictions. Greater than 31,000 investigations had been launched in 2020.

The ECHR stated Turkey’s legislation affords the top of state a privileged standing relating to the expression of data and opinion about them. It stated the legislation ought to be amended to make sure folks have the liberty to carry opinions and impart concepts with out interference by authorities.

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