TURKEY sentences prominent journalist to more than 27 years in jail
Can Dündar, a prominent journalist in Turkey for over 40 years and former editor of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, has been sentenced in absentia to more than 27 years in a Turkish prison for crimes of “securing confidential information for espionage” and for aiding followers of the exiled cleric Fethullah Gülen. Dündar fled to Germany in 2016 and Turkish officials are trying to secure his extradition.
A vocal critic of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Dündar has been arrested for breaking news in the past, along with half of the newspaper staff.
Speaking about his sentence from Germany, Dündar said:
“It is sad and strange that we knew what the verdict in my case would be before the case even ended. There are no means to defend yourself in Turkey anymore because the judges and judiciary cannot be trusted,” Dündar told the Guardian.
“The message the Turkish government is sending here by punishing a journalist so harshly is that ‘If you cover sensitive issues this is what will happen to you.’ My fear is this verdict will further deter journalists still in Turkey from doing their job.”
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