Dutch journalist acquitted of terrorist charges in Turkey

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Update

Frederike Geerdink was acquitted by the court in Diyarbakir, Turkey on 13 April. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ) have welcomed the acquittal of Geerdink.

 

Dutch journalist to be acquitted of terrorist charges in Turkey

(8 April 2015 ) Frederike Geerdink, a Dutch freelance journalist and correspondent based in Turkey could finally clear the terrorism charges  following today’s trial in Diyarbakir, Turkey.

Arriving at the High Criminal Court in Diyarbakir this morning with a positive outlook, Geerdink said that she is confident that the outcome of the trial will be positive. At the beginning of the trial, the public prosecutor pleaded for her acquittal. The prosecutor explained that the evidence which includes mainly Tweets and Facebook messages posted by Geerdink does not lead to the incitement of violence according to Article 7/2 of Turkey’s anti-terror law.

As the regular judge was not present at the hearing, the deputy judge decided, after just one hour, that the final verdict will be read on Monday, 13 April. It was speculated that the judge is likely to acquit Geerdink.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has welcomed the new development. “The move to acquittal for Frederike Geerdink is good news for us. We hope that this will be the final verdict delivered by the judge on Monday,” said EFJ.

Geerdink’s case has attracted a lot of attention and support from the international journalist community. Present in court today not only included family members of Geerdink, but also Dutch journalist Froukje Santing, who is the observer representing the EFJ, the Journalists’ Union of Netherlands (NVJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).

Froukje Santing said, “Today’s trial has shown that the anti-terror law in Turkey remains ambiguous. Accusations against journalists on terrorism charges are common practices for the authorities to silence crucial voices.”

Geerdink was accused of making “terrorist propaganda” for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). She was briefly detained in January following the raid in her home by the authorities.

(Photo: Frederike Geerdink was interviewed by local and international media outside the court this morning. © Froukje Santing)
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