Hasan Ozgun

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Ozgun, a Diyarbakir correspondent for the now banned pro-Kurdish daily Ozgur Gundem, was arrested during a December 9, 1993, police raid on the paper’s Diyarbakir bureau. He was charged with being a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), under Article 168/2 of the Penal Code.

Trial transcripts show that the prosecution based its case on what it described as Ozgur Gundem’s pro-PKK slant, following a Turkish-government pattern of harassing journalists affiliated with the publication. The prosecution also submitted copies of the banned PKK publications Serkhabun and Berxehun, found in Ozgun’s possession, as well as photographs and biographical sketches of PKK members from the newspaper’s archive. The state also cited Ozgun’s possession of an unlicensed handgun as evidence of his PKK membership.

Ozgun maintained that the PKK publications were used as sources of information for newspaper articles, and that the photos of PKK members were in the archive because of interviews the newspaper had conducted in the past. Ozgun admitted to having purchased the gun on the black market but denied all other charges. At the end of 2002, Ozgun was being held in Aydin Prison.