MEDIA MONITORING DATABASE
Semiha Şahin – trial for “membership of a terrorist organization”
RELATED PERSON OR INSTITUTION
Semiha Şahin
CITY
İstanbul
YEAR OF INTERFERENCE
2018
LAST UPDATED
14/09/2022
TYPE OF STATEMENT
Political
MEDIUM
Internet
News Agency
THE TITLE OF WHOSE RIGHT IS INTERFERED
Journalist
RIGHTS GUARANTEED UNDER THE RIGHT OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
Right to Impart Information and Ideas
TYPE OF INTERFERENCE
Judicial Interference
Criminal Courts
Approval of the indictment and initiating the prosecution
THE LEGAL GROUNDS FOR INTERFERENCE
Anti-Terror Law
Art. 7/2

Journalists from Etkin News Agency (ETHA) Pınar Gayıp and Semiha Şahin were detained on April 13, 2018. On April 19, Şahin and Gayıp were arrested by the Prosecutor’s Office, where they were referred along with Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) members. Gayip is trialed for allegedly “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” while Şahin is trialed for allegedly “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”, solely.

At the court Pınar Gayıp has said, “For five hearings, we have been trying to prove that we do journalism, journalism is not a crime and journalism is about making news and sharing them. We demand a verdict of release now.”

The court ordered Şahin and Gayıp to be released on home confinement. Their next hearing will be held on October 15, 2019.

At the hearing held on December 11, the court lifted the decision on home confinement, however, the international ban is continuing. The next hearing will be held on February 27, 2020.

At the hearing held on September 9, the court decided to await the requested documents. The next hearing will be on December 22 (9 September).

At the 11th hearing held on December 22, 2020, the court has ruled that the deficiencies in the case file shall be rectified. The analysis reports as to the digital materials of the defendants are expected. The next hearing will be held on February 11, 2021 (December 22).

The hearing scheduled for February 11 was adjourned until April 15, 2021 as two different boards of the İstanbul 23rd High Criminal Court were merged (February 11).

At the hearing held on April 15, 2021, the court adjourned the hearing until a later date so that the deficiencies could be rectified. The next hearing will be held on July 14 (April 15).

At the hearing held on July 14, 2021, the court board adjourned the trial where four people, including Etkin News Agency (ETHA) editor Semiha Şahin and reporter Pınar Gayıp, were on trial for “membership of a terrorist organization” and “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”. The next hearing will be held on November 9 (July 14).

At the hearing held on November 9, 2021, the court board ruled that the deficiencies should be rectified. The next hearing will be held on March 10, 2022 (November 9).

Due to the bad weather conditions, the hearing was postponed to March 24 (March 10).

At the hearing held on March 24, 2022, the prosecutor demanded that Şahin and Gayıp be penalized on the offenses charged. The lawyers of the journalists requested time to make statements as to the accusations. The next hearing will be held on May 26 (March 24).

At the hearing held on May 26, 2022, Şahin’s lawyer Özcan Karakoç and Gayip’s lawyer Kader Tonç demanded acquittal for their clients. The court adjourned the hearing to review the file. The next hearing will be held on September 14 (May 26).

Seeing that the ruling would not be pronounced due to the change in the court board, the lawyers did not attend the hearing on September 14, 2022. The hearing was held on the file. The next hearing will be held on November 2 (September 14).