Turkey: Upcoming trial of journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu

Photo: Tingey injury law firm

On the day of the hearing of the journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu, Co-Chair of the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFGD), international media freedom and human rights organisations, including FIDH and the OMCT within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, unite in demanding her immediate release. Detained for over nine months on dubious terrorism charges, Müftüoğlu’s case highlights grave legal irregularities, blatant disregard for due process and a troubling trend of silencing critical journalists.

February 29, 2024- . As the next hearing of journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu approaches on February 29, 2024, we call for immediate attention to her case and her unjust detention. Müftüoğlu, Co-Chair of the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFGD) , has been wrongfully held for over nine months on unsubstantiated terrorism charges in a case that starkly violates international legal standards and media freedom.

Case Overview: A Miscarriage of Justice

Müftüoğlu’s arrest occurred during a broader crackdown on Kurdish activists and politicians by the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office in April 2023. The circumstances of her detention, including her transfer to Ankara and the conditions therein, have raised serious concerns about her treatment and the respect for due process.
In court, the charges against Müftüoğlu have not been substantiated by any credible evidence. Her case is a textbook example of severe legal intimidation used to silence journalists who are critical of the government.

Investigative and Legal Irregularities

The investigation into Ms. Müftüoğlu’s activities has been marked by flagrant legal irregularities:

  • Restriction of access to legal counsel and investigation files.
  • Interrogation without legal representation, in clear violation of legal norms.
  • Inhumane treatment during her transfer, including prolonged handcuffing and deprivation of basic needs.

The indictment itself is deeply flawed, dedicating only a small portion to Müftüoğlu and failing to provide any substantial evidence of her involvement in terrorist activities. Instead, it inappropriately conflates her journalistic work with terrorism, using her association with the Mesopotamia News Agency and attendance at public events as supposed evidence of wrongdoing.

As the undersigned organisations we call upon the authorities in Turkey to immediately release Dicle Müftüoğlu and drop all charges against her. We call upon the international community, media freedom, journalism and human rights organisations to join us in condemning this unjust detention and to urge Turkey to uphold its commitments to media freedom and human rights.

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