Turkish journalist Ahmet Altan detained days after release
Turkish police on Tuesday detained journalist Ahmet Altan just a week after he was released from jail over alleged links to the failed 2016 coup.
Altan's detention follows a decision by a Turkish court earlier on Tuesday reversing a previous ruling for his release and issuing a warrant for his arrest, Sözcü newspaper reported.
Convicted of aiding U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, who Ankara accuses of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt, Altan was detained in Sept. 2016 and released from prison on Nov. 4 on account of the time he has already served in jail.
The Istanbul 27th Criminal Court on Tuesday reversed the ruling for the release Altan, following an appeal by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosector’s Office, Sözcü said.
The 69-year-old journalist was detained in a crackdown against intellectuals and writers following the failed putsch and given a life sentence in Feb. 2018 over attempting to overthrow the “constitutional order,” “interfering with the work of the national assembly,” and “interfering with the work of the government” through violence or force.
Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals had overturned the life sentence against the journalist.
Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Marie Struthers, has condemned the decision to rearrest Altan.
“It is impossible to see this decision as anything other than further punishment for his determination not be silenced and it compounds an already shocking catalogue of injustice he has been subjected to,'' Struthers said.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, has also expressed his concern regarding the rearrest of Altan.
The journalist's arrest is “a terrible setback and a reason for serious concern, especially if we take into account the length of the judicial process against him and the fact that he has already spent three years in pre-trial detention,'' Désir said.