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27.09.2017

ECPMF helps Turkish editor to defend his journalism in court

by ECPMF

Ali Ergin Demirhan is the editor-in-chief of sendika.org and the weekly newspaper "Halkın Sesi" that are critical of the Turkish government. Following the referendum in April 2017 he was arrested. The ECPMF is supporting his legal defence.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

They came for him at dawn. On April 20th, 2017 at 5.45 a.m., Turkish police raided Ali Ergin Demirhan’s office and apartment. They seized his computer and cellphone, and took him into custody on charges of "organising protests on social media accounts in attempt to make the referendum results look illegitimate". He was also accused of "inciting people to hatred and hostility" as well as "insulting an official performing her or his duty.“

Demirhan is the editor-in-chief of sendika.org and the weekly newspaper "Halkın Sesi". They are critical of the Turkish government and support workers’ causes as well as LGBT rights. Following the referendum in April 2017, when Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won a mandate to extend his presidential powers, Demirhan was arrested and taken to the Esenler Atışalanı Police Department.

Previously sendika.org had been blocked more than 50 times by the authorities because of its critical reporting. After the 49th time in July 2017 the website published this defiant message

"Sendika.org will not be silenced! We will not stop defending and working for people’s right to communicate and receive news. We’re proudly announcing to all our fellows and enemies out there, that we will continue with our news, knowing that resisting against injustice and censorship through our pens, cameras, keyboards and words, on our desks or on the streets, is a historical responsibility".

Although he has been released Demirhan’s case is still active. He has hired a lawyer to represent him but is not able to pay him. For this reason he approached the ECPMF and we have agreed to support him with 1,000 euro. "I am very pleased by ECPMF’s support, not only for covering my costs but for making me feel the international solidarity. International solidarity gives strength to journalists in Turkey who struggle for press freedom,” Demirhan says.

Please check here for information on ECPMF's legal support 





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