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HRD Eren Keskin Sentenced to 7.5 Years Prison

Status: 
Travel ban lifted
About the situation

On 10 October 2018, the 10th hearing of the Özgür Gündem “Main Trial” was held in Istanbul’s 23rd High Criminal Court. Former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Özgür Gündem, Eren Keskin is one of the nine defendants in the case. The Court lifted the travel ban on Eren Keskin but she is still facing up to 24 years in prison on various charges. The next hearing is scheduled for 17 January 2019.

On 30 March 2018, Istanbul’s 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced human rights defender Eren Keskin to 7.5 years in jail for having published articles deemed to have “degraded” the Turkish nation and “insulted” the Turkish president. The articles had been published in the daily newspaper Özgür Gündem ("Free Agenda"), of which she was co-editor-in-chief at the time. Özgür Gündem was closed on 16 August 2016 as a result of a statutory decree issued under the State of Emergency.

On 4 June 2018, the ninth hearing of the Özgür Gündem “Main Trial” was held. Former editor-in-chief of Özgür Gündem, Eren Keskin is one of nine defendants in the case. During the hearing the court requested that the prosecutor prepare a statement for the next hearing, which is scheduled for 20 October 2018. Her lawyer’s request to lift the travel ban on the human rights defender was refused by the court.

About Eren Keskin

Eren KeskinEren Keskin is a prominent human rights defender and lawyer in Turkey. She is the vice-president of the Human Rights Association (İHD). She is also the founder of the Legal Aid Bureau against Sexual Harassment and Rape in Custody. Keskin has been arrested, imprisoned and the object of numerous lawsuits for her legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights.

10 October 2018
Eren Keskin’s travel ban lifted and next hearing scheduled for January

On 10 October 2018, the 10th hearing of the Özgür Gündem “Main Trial” was held in Istanbul’s 23rd High Criminal Court. Former editor-in-chief of the newspaper Özgür Gündem, Eren Keskin is one of the nine defendants in the case. The Court lifted the travel ban on Eren Keskin but she is still facing up to 24 years in prison on various charges. The next hearing is scheduled for 17 January 2019.

Eren Keskin is among nine Özgür Gündem journalists, editors, and advisory board members who are facing charges in this case. All nine are being charged with “disrupting the unity and integrity of the State” under Article 302, “establishing an organisation for the purpose of committing crime” under Article 220 and “being a member of an armed organisation” under Article 314 of the Turkish Criminal Code, as well as charges of terrorist propaganda under various articles of the Turkish Anti-Terror Code. Kemal Sancılı, one of the defendants facing charges in this case, remains in detention.

Until now, more than 100 lawsuits have been filed against Eren Keskin for her work as editor-in-chief of Özgür Gündem. On 30 March 2018 she was charged with "degrading the Turkish nation, the Republic, institutions and organs of the state" under Article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code, and with "insulting the President of the Republic of Turkey" under Article 299 of the Turkish Criminal Code. She was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison, which her lawyer has appealed. Should her appeal be unsuccessful she will be detained to begin serving her sentence. She has also been ordered to pay a cumulative amount of 72 000 Turkish Liras (approximately 10 000 Euro), and an additional amount of 460 000 (approximately 65 000 Euro) remains under review before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

5 June 2018
Eren Keskin’s travel ban upheld and next hearing scheduled for October

On 4 June 2018, the ninth hearing of the Özgür Gündem “Main Trial” was held. Former editor-in-chief of Özgür Gündem, Eren Keskin is one of nine defendants in the case. During the hearing the court requested that the prosecutor prepare a statement for the next hearing, which is scheduled for 20 October 2018. Her lawyer’s request to lift the travel ban on the human rights defender was refused by the court.

By now, 143 lawsuits have been filed against Eren Keskin for her work as editor-in-chief of Özgür Gündem. On 30 March 2018 she was charged with "degrading the Turkish nation, the Republic, institutions and organs of the state" under Article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code, and with "insulting the President of the Republic of Turkey" under Article 299 of the Turkish Criminal Code and sentenced to 7.5 years in prison, which her lawyer has appealed. She has also been ordered to pay a cumulative amount of 355.000 Turkish Liras (approximately 72,000 Euro), nearly 105.920 of which remains under review before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court .

Eren Keskin is among nine Özgür Gündem journalists, editors, and advisory board members who are facing charges in this case. All nine are facing charges of “disrupting the unity and integrity of the State” under Article 302, “establishing an organisation for the purpose of committing crime” under Article 220 and “being a member of an armed organisation” under Article 314 of the Turkish Criminal Code, as well as charges of terrorist propaganda under various articles of the Turkish Anti-Terror Code.

30 March 2018
HRD Eren Keskin Sentenced to 7.5 Years Prison

On 30 March 2018, Istanbul’s 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced human rights defender Eren Keskin to 7.5 years in jail for having published articles deemed to have “degraded” the Turkish nation and “insulted” the Turkish president. The articles had been published in the daily newspaper Özgür Gündem ("Free Agenda"), of which she was co-editor-in-chief at the time. Özgür Gündem was closed on 16 August 2016 as a result of a statutory decree issued under the State of Emergency.

DOWLOAD THE URGENT APPEAL

Eren Keskin is a prominent human rights defender, lawyer and the vice-president of the Turkish Human Rights Association. She is also the founder of Gözaltında Cinsel Taciz ve Tecavüze Karşı Hukuki Yardım Bürosu (Legal Aid Bureau against Sexual Harassment and Rape in Custody) in Turkey. She has been arrested, imprisoned and the object of numerous lawsuits for her legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights. In 2004, she received the prestigious Aachen Peace Award "for her courageous efforts and activities for human rights", in 2005, she was awarded the Theodor Haecker Prize for Civic Courage and Political Integrity, and in 2018, she became a laureate of the Helsinki Civil Society Award.

Eren Keskin was charged with "degrading the Turkish nation, the Republic, institutions and organs of the state" under Article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code, and with "insulting the President of the Republic of Turkey" under Article 299 of the Turkish Criminal Code. She  received a prison sentence of 7.5 years, which her lawyer has applied to appeal.

This is not the first time that Eren Keskin has faced accusations for her legitimate and peaceful work in defence of human rights. By now, 143 lawsuits have been filed against the human rights defender. She has been ordered to pay a cumulative amount of 355.000 Turkish Liras (approximately 72,000 Euro), nearly 105.920 of which remains under review before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

Front Line Defenders is concerned with Eren Keskin’s prison sentence, which it believes is solely a consequence of her peaceful and legitimate work as a human rights defender.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Turkey:

1. Immediately and unconditionally quash Eren Keskin’s sentence, as Front Line Defenders believes that she is being held solely as a result of her legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;

2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Turkey are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.