Journalists from Turkish opposition daily ‘Cumhuriyet’ have been convicted for helping outlawed “terrorist” organisations.
On Wednesday, 25 journalists appeared in a Turkish court in Istanbul. Thirteen journalists and executives of the newspaper were sentenced to jail time ranging between three and seven years for “aiding and abetting terror organisations without being a member.” However, they remain free pending appeal.
Cumhuriyet’s editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, who was among those convicted after the verdict said, “No penalty can stop us from doing journalism. If needed, we will go to prison again but we will continue to do journalism.”
The judge ordered the release of Cumhuriyet chairman Akın Atalay who had been in jail for over 500 days despite his conviction.
“As we have always said, they cannot intimidate Cumhuriyet newspaper, which will continue to tell the truth to its readers,” he told reporters.
Atalay said they had been taken “hostage” and a “ransom” was demanded for the newspaper.