Bitlis News Editor-in-Chief and Bitlis Journalists’ Association Chair Sinan Aygük was detained following his news story about the harassment of a child.
Announcing the detention on Twitter, Aygül wrote, “Due to my harassment news from 3 hours ago, I have been detained for allegedly inciting the public to hatred and hostility. The police are searching my house now. I will be detained and taken to the police station. I am a journalist and journalism is not a crime” (December 14).
Aygül was released on December 22, 2022. The Disinformation Law (Article 217/A of the Turkish Penal Code – TCK) was cited as the reason for arresting Aygül (December 22).
The Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) Legal Unit applied to the Constitutional Court regarding the arrest of Bitlis Journalists’ Association Chair Sinan Aygül, who was arrested for “publicly spreading misleading information” on December 14, 2022 and was later released (January 16).
The Tatvan Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office indicted journalist Aygül on January 24. Aygül faced up to 3 years in prison on charge of “publicly spreading misleading information”.
The Tatvan 1st Criminal Court of First Instance accepted the indictment and set the date of the first hearing as February 28, 2023 by issuing a preliminary proceedings report. The court ruled that his international travel ban should remain in effect “as evidence had not been collected” and that a writ should be sent to the law enforcement to carry out an inquiry into his social and economic standing (January 31).
Tatvan 1st Penal Court of Peace sentenced the journalist to 10 months in prison for “openly disseminating misleading information” (Turkish Criminal Code Article 217/A). Protesting the disinformation law, Aygül refused to make a defense at the hearing (March 1).