Nedim Türfent, Dicle News Agency (DIHA)
Imprisoned:May 12, 2016

Police detained Türfent, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DIHA), in the eastern province of Van on May 12, 2016, CPJ reported at the time.

The Yüksekova Court of Penal Peace in Hakkari province ordered him jailed pending trial in Hakkari prison the following day, according to the leftist daily newspaper Evrensel.

According to court documents CPJ reviewed, prosecutors asked the journalist about a DIHA story on Kurdish Civil Protection Units (YPS), which the Turkish government classes as a terrorist organization, and news he shared on his Twitter account.

The prosecution cited witness testimony, including from someone it said was a captured YPS member, accusing Türfent of being a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK/KCK) and the offshoot group, the YPS, who propagandizes for the banned groups by interviewing their members and taking photographs and videos of them.

According to the court documents, Türfent responded that he was not the one who took the pictures or videos his organization used for the story in question, and that he had not written it. He denied being a member of the PKK/KCK, and noted that it was his job to interview people, including members of illegal organizations. "Interviewing organization members does not make one an organization member" he said, according to the court record.

The prosecution also cited witness accounts that Türfent photographed trenches and blockades Kurdish rebels prepared in the eastern Turkish town of Yüksekova. In response, the journalist said he documented the events because they had news value, and that all the witnesses' claims against him were unsupported by evidence.

The court ruled that the witness testimonies were enough to create a "reasonable suspicion" that Türfent was a "member of a [terrorist] organization," and ordered him jailed pending trial.

DIHA reported in May 2016 that Türfent received threats from police officers prior to his arrest. He told his employer that people who claimed to be police officers threatened him at his home, and that police officers told relatives, "Nedim should be careful."

According to court documents CPJ reviewed, Türfent told the court that he was "subjected to inhumane treatment and torture" while being detained.

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