In the lawsuit filed against 13 journalists and writers on charge of “propagandizing for a terrorist organization” for having participated in the “Editors-in-Chief on Watch” campaign in solidarity with the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which was closed by a Statutory Decree, the final hearing was held at the İstanbul 14th Heavy Penal Courton April 3, 2019.
Being tried for participating in the Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign, President of the Confederation of Trade Unions of Turkey – Press Union (DİSK Basın-İş) Faruk Eren, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Fehim Işık, Celal Başlangıç, Öncü Akgül and İhsan Çaralan have been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison. Their prison sentences have been deferred.
Being tried on the same charge, Dilşah Kocakaya and Celalettin Can has also been sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison. The prison sentence of Kocakaya and Can has not been deferred. In all of the deferred verdicts apart from that of Can, it has been stated that “the pasts of defendants with no criminal record and their behavior during the hearings have been taken into consideration.”
While the court has ruled that Hüseyin Aykol shall be acquitted of “praising the crime and the criminal” and “inciting to commit crime”, it has sentenced him to 3 years and 9 months imprisonment on the ground that “he propagandized for a terrorist organization via press.”
On September 23, The 3rd Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice, the court of appeals, has upheld the prison sentences of Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, Fehim Işık, Celal Başlangıç, İhsan Çaralan, Öncü Akgül ve Celalettin Can and Hüseyin Aykol who joined the Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign in solidarity with Özgür Gündem (23 September).