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Defendants: Kibriye Evren

Media Outlet and Position: Jinha News Agency – Journalist

Status: Imprisoned

Facility: Diyarbakır E-type closed prison

Accusations: Membership of a terrorist organization; Making terrorist propaganda

Possible sentence: up to 22 years

Court: Diyarbakır 5. High Criminal Court

Case Background:

Kibriye Evren, a reporter of Jinha, was arrested on October 11, 2018 on the charges of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda”.  The police detained 23 people, including Kurdish politicians along with Evren on October 9, 2018 in simultaneous operations. While Evren and 2 others were arrested and held on charges of “membership of a terrorist organization,” after two days in pretrial detention the others were released.

The indictment cited Evren’s trips abroad, social media posts and her presence at the Kurdish women groups such as Free Women’s Congress (Kongreya Jinên Azad) as evidence. Anonymous witness statements were also included in the indictment.

Evren’s tweets such as “Jinha cannot be silenced” and a re-post of the tweet posted by prominent journalist Hasan Cemal about a bombing in Turkey, which said, “Bombs exploded, many young people died,” were among those which were cited as criminal evidence. Evren is also being accused of being involved with the outlawed group Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) and representing KCK via the press.

Jinha was the first Women News Agency in Turkey which was shut down by decree during the State of Emergency that was lifted in July 2018.

Her first hearing took place on December 6, 2018, during which prosecutors requested 22 years of prison time.  The case was adjourned until January 10, 2019, with Evren remaining in custody.

During the second date on January 10, Evren attended the hearing via judicial video-conference system (SEGBIS), rejecting all charges. Court adjourned the hearing till April 16.

During the hearing on April 16, the court ruled the prosecutor’s final opinion to be delivered to Evren in person in its interim decision, ruling the continuation of Evren’s detention. During the hearing on May 7, the court requested a copy of another case file from an Ankara court where Evren appears as a defendant, asked for additional information on accusations.

During the hearing on 18 July, the prosecution asked once again for the continuation of Evren’s detention, which the court granted. The case was adjourned until September 24, 2019.

On September 24, the court inquired about Evren’s other cases in courts in the cities Ankara, Şanlıurfa and Mersin. The court adjourned the hearing until November 12 and ruled for the continuation of Evren’s detention.

During the eighth hearing on November 12, 2019, Evren was released under judicial control measures and with a travel ban after 13 months in pre-trial detention. The trial was adjourned until March 10, 2020.

Due to health problems, Evren didn’t attend the March 10 hearing. Her lawyers presented a medical report to the court about her condition and requested to postpone the hearing. The court lifted Evren’s obligation to give signature monthly at the police station but rejected the request to lift her international travel ban. The trial was adjourned until July 14.

Evren did not attend the July 14 hearing due to health problems. The court ruled Evren to be present in the courtroom for the next hearing and to submit her defense statement.

During the hearing on November 26, 2020, Evren’s lawyer requested their witnesses in Antalya and Ağrı to be heard in the court. The court accepted the request.

The court further requested a copy of the indictment filed previously against Evren before Mersin 2. High Criminal Court.

Evren and her lawyers attended the hearing on March 9, 2021. The court heard a witness who said he did not witness any activities of Evren in relation to a terrorist organization. Evren stressed that she currently works for the Jinnews site and rejected all allegations. Evren’s lawyers requested the case file against Evren before Mersin 2. High Criminal Court to be merged with the case.

The court ruled to evaluate this request during next hearing and adjourned the trial until June 24 for all missing documents to be completed.