Turkey sentences Kurdish journalist to jail over terror charges

A Turkish court on Monday sentenced journalist Ayşegül Doğan to six years and three months in prison on charges of membership in a terrorist organisation, news website Gazete Karinca reported.

The verdict by a court in Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakır province follows an investigation against Doğan over meetings she held and events she attended as a journalist, it said.

Doğan was the programme coordinator of the now defunct IMC TV, which was shut down with a presidential decree during the two-year state of emergency rule following the July 2016 coup attempt.

The initial indictment had accused Doğan of running a terrorist organisation, calling for a 22.5-year prison sentence over  membership of the permanent council of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), a Kurdish-led umbrella organisation for various NGOs that Turkey accuses of connections to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK has waged an armed  insurgency against the Turkish state for almost four  decades.

But in October, charges were lowered to membership of a terrorist organisation, with the prosecutor demanding up to 15 years in prison instead.

Doğan’s lawyers are set to appeal the decision, Gazete Karinca repored.