Dec 25 2017

Journalist Şık thrown out of courtroom for “political” defence

Investigative journalist and writer Ahmet Şık, who is being tried alongside other journalists from opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, has been ejected from the courtroom after sharing what the judge considered a political defence, Hürriyet said. The chief judge has ordered that Şık not attend upcoming hearings.

“We have a government that treats those who are not with them in this country as terrorists in different ways and to different degrees,” said Şık, who faces charges of sponsoring three different “terrorist groups” with vastly contradictory aims.

“There is a judiciary which works in the interests of this government, turning this terrorist treatment into preposterous charges.”

Şık is accused of working on behalf of the Islamist group Islamic State (ISIS), the Kurdish insurgent Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Fethullah Gülen movement.

Prosecutors and judges accused of belonging to the Gülen movement, a religious sect which the Turkish government maintains masterminded last year’s failed coup attempt, have been charged by the Turkish courts in another case of wrongly imprisoning Şık for a year between 2011-2012. At the time, Şık was writing a book critical of the Gülen movement.

“This is not a political case,” Chief Judge Abdurrahman Orkun Dağ said. “If you continue in this manner I will stop you from talking.”

Şık replied that the case itself was political and the judge ordered him thrown out of the courthouse.

As he was being dragged out of the hearing, Şık said “I hope one day you too are tried in this way.”

“If the case is political, the defence is also political,” Hürriyet journalist İsmail Saymaz tweeted. “Ahmet Şık is not jailed for stealing a bag from a car: he is jailed for the non-crime of journalism.”

Lawyer Efkan Bolaç noted that the judge had ordered Şık not to be brought to any further hearings.

“The dream of trials without either defendants or lawyers is beginning to come true,” he tweeted.

 

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