Imprisoned journalist Bayram not released

  • actual
  • 14:35 25 September 2023
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RIHA - Hamdullah Bayram, who was tried within the scope of his journalistic activities, was not released at the first hearing of the combined files.

Decree Law (Decree Law) The hearing of the case filed against Libertarian Democracy employee Hamdullah Bayram on the allegations of "being a member of a terrorist organization" and "knowingly and willingly aiding the organization" was held. At the 14th hearing, held on June 22, 2023, a decision was made to join the case in which Bayram was detained within the scope of his journalistic activities and a total of 12 journalists were tried. Following the merger decision, the first hearing was held today at Urfa 2nd High Criminal Court. Bayram, who has been held in Sincan No. 2 Type F Prison since March 20, 2023, and his lawyer Resul Temur were present at the hearing.
The prosecution gave its opinion on the merits of the hearing, which started with identification, and requested a decision regarding Bayram's continued detention. Bayram spoke against the opinion and demanded his release.
Taking the floor afterwards, Bayram's lawyer Resul Temur drew attention to the contradictory statements of the secret witness heard in the Ankara file and said: "The secret witness admitted that he was an agent. He said in the second hearing that he worked for the state. Therefore, there is no independent and impartial witness. There are deficiencies in the Libertarian Democracy newspaper case in which Bayram is being tried. There are also mistakes in the Urfa file. The client is being tried for distributing the Özgür Gündem newspaper. The newspapers have imprints. Newspapers are distributed officially after official permission. But it seems as if he is distributing newspapers illegally. There is no notification stating that the newspaper is banned. Since there is no notification, it cannot be considered a crime, but a meeting order is issued. The prosecution considered a decision to continue the detention, taking into account the prohibition decision regarding only one annex. This is technically not possible."
Referring to the statements of the secret witness heard in the Ankara case about Bayram's distribution of newspapers and magazines in the Parliament, Temur said: "They need to be heard because the names of third parties are mentioned. Democratic Modernity is a legal magazine. Xwebûn newspaper is published legally every week. Distribution of legally printed newspapers and magazines cannot be illegal. The responsible editors of newspapers and magazines are clear. The client has no responsibility. The client stated that he made his living by distributing newspapers at all stages. My client's press card is considered a crime because it was not obtained from the Directorate of Communications; however, the Directorate of Communications is only an accredited card. Press promotion cards cannot be considered a crime. In the Ankara case where Bayram was tried, all detained defendants were released at the first hearing. The president of the court did not release Bayram due to the trial in Urfa."
The court decided to continue Bayram's detention and postponed the hearing to October 23, 2023.
Bayram was taken to Urfa No. 1 Prison instead of Sincan Prison because the next hearing was postponed to a closer date.

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