Insult

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Turkish journalist Oktay Candemir charged with ‘insulting’ deceased sultan in satirical tweet

Istanbul, September 8, 2020 – Turkish authorities should immediately return the confiscated property of journalist Oktay Candemir and drop all charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Yesterday, police in the eastern city of Van arrested Candemir, a freelance journalist who writes columns for the pro-Kurdish news website Nupel, at his home,…

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Freelance reporter charged with insulting Zimbabwe’s president

On June 29, 2020, Godfrey Mtimba, a freelance journalist in Zimbabwe’s southern town of Masvingo, was charged with insulting and undermining the authority of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the journalist and his lawyer, Phillip Shumba, told CPJ via messaging app. Mtimba was charged under Section 33 (2) (a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act,…

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Kazakhstan decriminalizes defamation, but maintains detentions, criminal penalties for speech offenses

New York, July 8, 2020 — Kazakhstan authorities should deepen their reforms on laws affecting the press and ensure that journalists are never jailed for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On June 27, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed into law amendments to the country’s criminal and administrative codes that decriminalized defamation, according…

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during a parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on June 25, 2019. Two journalists are to stand trial, in separate cases, on charges of insulting the president. (AFP/Adem Altan)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 23, 2019

‘Insult’ trial for Free Journalists Initiative spokesperson Hakkı Boltan, a spokesperson for the Free Journalists Initiative (ÖGİ), is due to stand trial in Diyarbakır on charges of “insulting the president” and “insulting a public servant because of their duty,” the news website Gazete Karınca reported. The charges are related to Boltan’s public statements about President…

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Supporters of the HDP party gather for an election rally in Batman, on March 12. On June 1, a court in the Turkish city handed down a prison sentence for a journalist who died in October. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 2, 2019

German journalist accused of insulting president A prosecutor in Ankara has started an investigation into German journalist Süheyla Kaplan who is accused of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and terrorism propaganda, Deutsche Welle reported. Evidence cited against the journalist includes a political cartoon of the Turkey’s president that she shared on Twitter, social media post…

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Kadri Gürsel, left, is handcuffed by police outside an Istanbul prison on May 29. Gürsel, a former columnist for Cumhuriyet, and Turkey chair of the International Press Institute, was freed later that day. (AP/DHA)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 26, 2019

More journalists beaten in Turkey On May 25, three men beat Selahattin Önkibar, a columnist for the ultranationalist opposition news website Odatv, near his house in Ankara, the leftist daily Evrensel reported. Önkibar is the fifth journalist to be attacked in Turkey this month, in apparent retaliation for their work, CPJ has found.

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A man holds a sign reading 'Writers' freedom is not guaranteed' outside an Istanbul court during a trial connected to the now shuttered paper Özgür Gündem, in December 2016. A court sentenced seven former journalists from the paper to prison on May 21, 2019. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 19, 2019

7 journalists sentenced in Özgür Gündem trial An Istanbul Court on May 21 sentenced seven journalists from the shuttered pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem to prison after they were convicted of “making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization,” the Mezopotamya News Agency reported.

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Dawn breaks over Istanbul in March 2019. A court in the Turkish city has rejected a stay of execution request from lawyers representing Cumhuriyet staff. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 28, 2019

Cumhuriyet appeal rejected by local court An Istanbul court on April 30 rejected a stay of execution request from lawyers representing eight staff from the daily Cumhuriyet, the news website T24 reported. The lawyers asked authorities to not act on a local appeals court ruling that upheld their sentencing until the Supreme Court had ruled…

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Protesters hold up copies of the pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem during a rally in Istanbul in June 2016. Turkish courts will proceed with 14 cases against a former publisher of the now shuttered newspaper. (AFP/Oan Kose)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 7, 2019

14 trials in one week for Özgür Gündem publisher Over the course of one week, Turkish courts agreed to proceed with 14 cases involving Ziya Çiçekçi, a former publisher of the shuttered pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem, the Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) reported. All but one of the cases involve accusations of “making propaganda for a…

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Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, pictured at an event in Istanbul, in October 2018. A judge dismissed a complaint filed by Albayrak and his brother over a Cumhuriyet reporter's Paradise Papers coverage. (Reuters/Murad Sezer)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 24, 2019

Court dismisses trial of Paradise Papers reporter Pelin Ünker The trial of Pelin Ünker, a former reporter for the opposition daily Cumhuriyet, who faced charges related to her coverage of the Paradise Papers, was closed on March 28 after the judge ruled that the statute of limitations had expired, Medyascope reported. Ünker was accused of…

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