MEDIA MONITORING DATABASE
Hayri Demir – trial for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization via the press” and “membership of a terrorist organization”
RELATED PERSON OR INSTITUTION
Hayri Demir
CITY
Ankara
YEAR OF INTERFERENCE
2017
LAST UPDATED
04/10/2022
TYPE OF STATEMENT
Political
MEDIUM
Other
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
Turkish Penal Code
Art. 314/1

A burglar who broke into the house of journalist Hayri Demir in February 2017 stole two memory cards of Demir. The stolen cards were found by a citizen on the street and handed over to the police afterwards. Examining the memory cards, the police “detected” the pictures taken by Demir in the north of Syria and the announcements that he made during news reporting. The prosecutor’s office indicted Hayri Demir over these pictures and announcements on charges of “being a member of a terrorist organization” and “propagandizing for a terrorist organization via the press”. 

At the 11th hearing of the case, the Ankara 15th High Criminal Court ruled that a criminal complaint should be filed against the officers for “misconduct in office” if the written correspondence about the materials that could not be found in the property and evidence unit was left unresponded. The court rejected the requests for hearing the person who handed over the SD card to the security as a witness and comparing the fingerprints. The next hearing will be held on June 29, 2022 (April 19).

At the hearing held on June 29, 2022, Hayri Demir said that H.Ş., who repeated her/his witness statement at court, was trying to mislead the court and requested that a criminal complaint be filed against H.Ş. The court concluded that there was no ground for filing a criminal complaint against the witness and rejected the request for hearing the statement of H.Ş. again since it would bring no benefit to the file. The court ruled that the expert report should be awaited. The next hearing will be held on September 28 (June 29).

At the hearing held on September 28, 2022, it was seen that the digital material investigative report requested at the previous hearing had been added to the file. Asked for his opinion as to the report, Demir said, “The report indicates that no crime elements have been found. Therefore, I request my acquittal.” Demir’s lawyer presented her client’s statement in written form and requested his acquittal. The prosecutor of the hearing demanded additional time to prepare the final opinion as to the accusations. The court accepted the prosecutor’s request. The next hearing will be held on October 4 (September 28).

At the hearing held on October 4, 2022, the prosecutor’s office presented its opinion as to the accusations and requested that journalist Hayri Demir be penalized on the two offenses charged. The court gave time to Demir and his lawyer to make statements as to the accusations. The next hearing will be held on December 21 (October 4).