Havva Cuştan

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Police detained Havva Cuştan, a reporter for the socialist Etkin News Agency (ETHA), along with one of her colleagues and several socialist lawyers, politicians, and activists, in a series of raids in Istanbul on October 19, 2017, according to the independent news site Bianet.

A court on October 26 ordered Cuştan and her colleague İsminaz Temel to be jailed pending trial, the ETHA agency reported. The court charged Cuştan with “making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization,” ETHA reported. Authorities accused ETHA of being affiliated with the banned Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), the lawyers said in the ETHA report.

Police threatened to kill or rape the journalists and they burned their press credentials, according to an ETHA report that cited the journalists’ lawyers. CPJ was unable to verify the report.

As of December 4, 2017, the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C. did not respond to CPJ’s emailed request for comment on claims that jailed journalists are mistreated.

The lawyers said that the journalists were questioned about stories they produced including about protests and funerals and memorial services for MLKP militants who fought in Syria against the extremist group Islamic State, and books that were confiscated from the house that they shared, ETHA reported.

Cuştan is at Bakırköy Women’s Prison in Istanbul.