Seven journalists facing up to 3 years in prison over social media posts

A Turkish prosecutor has requested between one and three year prison sentences for seven journalists over their social media posts, pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency reported on Wednesday.

The journalists are accused of targeting Musa Çitil, who served as the gendarmerie deputy commander in the country’s southeastern Kurdish majority province of Diyarbakır in 2015, during the height of the conflict between the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and Kurdish militants linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The PKK is an armed group that has fought for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey for over three decades.

In August 2015, Kurdish militants declared autonomy in Diyarbakır’s central district of Sur and other city centres across the country’s southeast and erected barricades to keep security forces out. After months of bitter street fighting, military operations officially ended the following March.

Journalists Ömer Çelik, A.Vahap Taş, Çağdaş Kaplan, Selman Çiçek, Hamza Gündüz, İnan Kızılkaya and Kemal Sancılı shared on their social media accounts a report by the now defunct pro-Kurdish Dicle news agency (DİHA) which the authorities say targeted Çitil.

They are accused of ‘’targeting an official fighting against terror.’’

The next hearing in the case of the journalists is set to take place on Dec. 18.