Ünsal, reporter for the biweekly Yürüyüş (March), was detained as part of a large, official crackdown against the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Salvation Party/Front (DHKP/C). Ünsal was accused of being a member of the organization. The journalist denied the accusations.
Ünsal was being held at Edirne F Type High Security Closed Prison in Edirne province, according to an updated list of imprisoned journalists provided by the Justice Ministry in November 2013 at CPJ’s request. Evrim Deniz Karatana, Ünsal’s lawyer, told CPJ that authorities had not filed official charges against Ünsal in late 2013, and no court date had been scheduled. If charged with being a member of the DHKP/C, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Karatana said the evidence against Ünsal was based on secret witness testimony and his presence at opposition gatherings, which he was covering as a journalist. Karatana said the accusations were in retaliation for Yürüyüş’ criticism of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)-run government. Yürüyüş is a socialist revolutionary publication that focuses on politics, workers’ rights, and global politics. The publication uses harsh language in reference to the ruling AKP.
Ünsal had been detained by the police several times before on similar accusations of belonging to a banned organization.
Karatana said that Ünsal was beaten by the police during his detention.