Serife Oruç, Dicle News Agency (DIHA)
Imprisoned:July 4, 2016

Police detained Oruç, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DIHA), on July 4, 2016, while she was traveling in a car with her cousin and a driver who had picked them up while they were hitchhiking between the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir and Batman, according to news reports, citing DIHA. The reports said the three were detained on suspicion of "aiding a [terrorist] organization."

After all three were questioned by a prosecutor, Batman's Second Court of Penal Peace ordered Oruç and her companions jailed, pending trial on suspicion of "being a member of a [terrorist] organization," according to press reports. Oruç, who denied the charges in court, was sent to Batman prison pending trial, according to news reports. DIHA reported that Oruç was on her way to cover a news story in Batman at the time of her arrest.

CPJ reviewed the records of Oruç's interrogation by a prosecutor, and the court's order to jail her pending trial. The journalist denied accusations of being a fighter for the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which Turkey classes as a terrorist organization, and said she had never fired a gun. She told the prosecutor she had been in Diyarbakir for newsgathering purposes, and that she had not been close to fighting there. She denied the police report's claim that she had tried to run from them.

According to the record of her arraignment hearing, Oruç's lawyer, Mesut Aydin, argued that the police reports about her arrest and those of her companions were conflicting: For example, he said, one report said the three tried to run in different directions; another said they had been apprehended after a car chase.

As of late 2016, she had not been indicted, and no date had been set for her trial.

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