Journalist Beritan Canözer sentenced to prison

Jinnews reporter Beritan Canözer was sentenced to 1 year, 10 months, and 15 days in prison for “spreading terrorist organization propaganda” in her social media posts

The third hearing of the lawsuit filed against Jinnews reporter Beritan Canözer at Diyarbakır  11th Assize Court for “spreading terrorist organization propaganda” by liking on her social media accounts certain posts between 2013 and 2016 took place. Canözer, who was not present at the hearing, was represented by her counsel, Resul Tamur.

The prosecution repeated the opinion it had presented in previous hearings, asking for a criminal sentence. Stating that they did not agree with the criminal sentence opinion of the prosecutor, counsel Resul Tamur argued that the investigation had been launched without grounds for criminal suspicion. Pointing out that his client was being charged for her one like and four comments, Tamur stressed that the comments did not contain any elements that could constitute a crime and that the comments must be regarded within the framework of freedom of thought and expression. Remarking that the like and the comments were not public and had been obtained through a special effort on the part of the police force, Tamur pleaded for his client’s acquittal.

The panel of judges found that “terrorist organization propaganda” had been spread through the like and the comments and sentenced Canözer to 1 year, 10 months, and 15 days in prison. As Canözer had deferred sentences from two previous lawsuits that she had been tried for, this sentence was not deferred. Her lawyer said they would appeal the ruling.

Talking to the Speak Up Platform, Canözer said that these sentences did not break her spirit. Canözer stated, “The lawsuits, the trials cannot push me back. We have tens of colleagues currently detained. I am going to continue doing my job for them and for myself, my belief in the truth unshaken.”