Press Freedom Witness: The witness, a Kurdish journalist, testified as to the crime she was accused of and to her years’ imprisonment. The witness explained that on 12 April 2016, around 15 special operations and police officers raided her house in Nusaybin (South East Turkey) and detained her and a colleague. They searched the house for 2 hours and confiscated all of her journalistic equipment, including cameras and computers. The witness was later taken to a police station, interrogated and pressured to become a collaborator. Two days later she was charged with “membership of a terrorist organisation” and “spreading propaganda”. The witness was released following a second hearing. While she was acquitted for the charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation, in November 2016 the witness was sentenced to 4 years of prison on the propaganda charges aggravated by the use of news and social media. The evidence used against the witness consisted of articles covering the conflict in Southeast Turkey between Kurdish rebel forces and Turkey forces. She was held in different prisons for a total of 2 years and 11 months, including some periods in solitary confinement.
The witness escaped the country and currently lives in exile in Europe. Her appeal before the Cassation Court is still pending.