In the morning hours on October 6, 2020, the Van Bureau of Mezopotamya Agency (MA) and the houses of several journalists, including those of Jinnews reporters, were raided. MA reporters Adnan Bilen and Cemil Uğur, Jinnews reporter Şehriban Abi and Nazan Sala were taken into custody during the raids. The reason for their detention was reportedly covering the incident where Servet Turgut and Osman Şiban, who had been tortured and thrown from a helicopter by soldiers in Turkey’s eastern province of Van. The detained journalists were arrested (October 9).
Cemil Uğur, one of the arrested journalists, reported it with documents that villagers Turgut and Şiban, detained by soldiers who were carrying out an operation in the rural parts of Çatak district in Van, were thrown from the helicopter.
Zeynep Durgut was also detained over the same news on December 22; she was released.
Arrested journalists Adnan Bilen and Cemil Uğur from MA, Şehriban Abi from Jinnews and Nazan Sala as well as Zeynep Durgut were indicted. While the prosecutor charged the journalists arrested for 130 days with “membership in a terrorist organization,” it also brought the charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” against Nazan Sala.
The indictment was accepted by the Van 5th High Criminal Court (February 16).
At the hearing held on April 2, 2021, the court board ruled that journalists Cemil Uğur, Şehriban Abi, Nazan Sala and Adnan Bilen should be released with the judicial control measure of giving a signature once a month and an international travel ban (April 2).
At the hearing held on July 2, 2021, the judicial control measures of giving a signature once a month and an international travel ban were not lifted. The next hearing will be held on October 21 (July 2).
At the hearing held on October 21, 2021, the court board lifted all judicial control measures, rejected the lawyers’ request for returning the journalists’ equipment and ruled that the fate of the ongoing investigation against Nazan Sala should be asked in written form. The next hearing will be held on January 6, 2022 (October 21).
At the hearing held on January 6, 2022, the prosecutor pronounced the final opinion as to the accusations and demanded that all five journalists be acquitted of “membership of a terrorist organization”. The prosecutor demanded that Nazan Sala be penalized for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”, an offense charged in the main file. Following the statements of defense as to the accusations, the court handed down its ruling and ruled that all journalists should be acquitted of “membership of a terrorist organization”. Nazan Sala has been sentenced to 1 year, 3 months in prison for “propagandizing for a terrorist organization”. The announcement of her verdict has been deferred (January 6).
On February 7, 2022, the Constitutional Court unanimously found the arrest of journalist Cemil Uğır, who was taken into custody and arrested as part of this file, to be against the law. The Constitutional Court concluded that the right to personal liberty and security of Uğur was violated (February 7).