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Turkey acquits Reporters Without Borders member

July 18, 2019 at 1:02 pm

Turkish Reporters Without Borders representative Erol Onderoglu [Erol Önderoglu/Twitter]

A Turkish court in Istanbul acquitted a representative of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) along with two other journalists, news agencies reported yesterday.

Turkish RSF representative Erol Onderoglu, Human Rights Foundation of Turkey President Sebnem Korur Fincanci and author Ahmet Nesin were detained following the failed coup in 2016. They were later released pending trial.

They were accused of spreading terrorist propaganda and incitement to crime after guest-editing Ozgur Gundem, a newspaper on Kurdish issues, and campaigning against efforts to censor it, Reuters reported.

Lawyer Meric Eyuboglu, who represented one of the three defendants said: “We had a surprise today and they were acquitted.”

READ: Turkey deports journalist after receiving Dutch tip-off

The RSF welcomed the verdict, Reuters said, but called for charges in a separate case against Onderoglu to be dropped.

“We are deeply relieved by @ErolOnderoglu’s and his colleague’s acquittal. BUT 3 years of absurd proceedings was already a form of unjust punishment,” RSF said on Twitter.