ECHR rejects appeal by Turkish journalists charged with terror propaganda

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has rejected an appeal by 46 journalists from Turkey who were put on trial in 2012 over terror charges, news site Artı Gerçek reported on Saturday.

ECHR rejected the appeal, maintaining that internal authorities must be exhausted, and said the journalists should apply Turkey's Supreme Court, Artı Gerçek said.

Forty-six journalists, 32 of whom are behind the bars, are accused of making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organisation, namely the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella organisation that includes the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has been fighting an armed insurgency for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey since 1984.

Selçuk Gültaşlı, the former Brussels bureau chief of Zaman newspaper, earlier accused ECHR of "cherry-picking" the cases of the jailed journalist, as last on the organisation's list are Kurdish or Turkish journalists with alleged links or membership of organisations, such as banned Kurdish groups or the Fethullah Gülen movement.

Since the July 2016 coup attempt, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has shut down more than 175 news outlets, leaving more than 12,000 media workers without a job. And, Turkey is the world’s worst jailer of journalists, with at least 68 in jail in direct relation to their work, according to CPJ's 2018 prison census.