Turkish journalist faces jail for “insulting a public official”

Kemal Göktaş (Photo: @kemalgoktas)

Kemal Göktaş (Photo: @kemalgoktas)

A Turkish journalist was charged on Tuesday for “insulting a public official“.

Kemal Göktaş, a reporter for Turkish paper Milliyet, faces up to two years and four months in prison for criticising the sentence of a police officer who beat a woman in custody. The victim called for eight years imprisonment, but the officer was handed down a one-year jail sentence.

Göktaş’s last article on the case appeared on Milliyet’s website on 6 October. He told Agos that his case is not only a violation of press freedom, but also a human rights violation. He is will testify on 14 November.

In 2009, Göktaş was acquitted of similar charges after publishing articles criticising “general surveillance permission“.

The incident was reported to mediafreedom.ushahihi.com, Index on Censorship’s media violations mapping project.


This article was originally posted on indexoncensorship.org 

Uzbekistan: Journalists fined and detained for press censorship protest

Uzbek journalists, Malohat Eshonqulova and Saodat Omonova, have been detained and fined 2.94 million soms (around £1000) for holding an unauthorized protest on Monday morning.

The two women, who have now begun a hunger strike, held up placards in front of the presidential palace in Tashkent which read “Dear Islam Karimov, please grant us an audience”.

The pair were arrested after around four hours of protesting on 27 June, a day officially marked by Uzbekistan as the “Day of Media Workers“. Eshonqulova and Omonova were fired from state television channel Yoshlar last December, three days after they staged protests against media censorship and are still fighting a court battle to appeal their dismissal.

Somalia: Two radio stations silenced in twenty-four hours

Members of the Sufi group, Ahlu Sunna Waljama (ASWJ), shut down Radio Dhusamareb of central Somalia on Wednesday evening. Seven masked intruders forced staff to evacuate the building and the station’s editor was arrested and taken into custody. He has now been released without charge. Less than 24 hours before the attack, Al Shabaab militants silenced the Voice of Hiran radio station in the town of Beletweyne.

Malawi: Tabloid banned for not registering

Authorities in Malawi have banned a weekly tabloid newspaper for not registering. The ruling comes a year after The Weekend Times published its first edition. The newspaper, renowned for its sensationalist reporting on scandalous stories about politicians and celebrities, is published by Blantyre Newspapers Ltd, a company owned by the family of former dictator Kamuzu Banda. Three months ago, President Bingu we Mutharika threatened to shut down newspapers deemed to have lied that one million Malawians will need food aid.