Journalist’s Trial Delayed Amid Calls to Acquit

North Cyprus News - Ali Kismir 2
[Ali Kişmir – President of the Journalist’s Union (Basın-Sen)]
The trial of journalist Ali Kişmir, charged with insulting the security forces, has once again been postponed, as reported by Yeniduzen.

Ali Kişmir, President of the Journalists’ Union BASIN-SEN, faces allegations of “insulting and mocking” the security forces in connection with an opinion piece he published on social media in 2020, in a lawsuit filed by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. He faces a requested sentence of ten years imprisonment.

Kişmir appeared in court today, only for the hearing to be postponed again due to the prosecutor’s illness. The case is now scheduled for May 28, when a decision will be made on whether it will proceed in the High Criminal Court or the lower court.

In an article published by Kibris Postasi stated that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Irene Khan, has raised concerns about suppression and censorship actions, raising questions about the state of press freedom and freedom of expression in Northern Cyprus. The article stated that Khan has sent letters to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar regarding the harassment, intimidation, and censorship suffered by journalist Ali Kişmir.

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ), in December 2023, issued a statement expressing solidarity with Kişmir and urging the authorities of Northern Cyprus to drop the charges against him.

EFJ Vice-President Mustafa Kuleli characterised the case as “an operation to suppress critical voices in the Turkish Cypriot community” and asserted, “The Erdogan government is attempting to extend its repressive policies against journalists in Turkey to Cyprus“. [Ed.]

Source: Yeniduzen

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