7-11-2012 – Daily Özgür Gündem paper released a statement on the trial of Kurdish press members on 12 November.
The paper called for support during the hearing of the trial against Kurdish journalists arrested in the scope of so-called KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) operation on 20 December 2011. The operation mainly targeted the workers of Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Özgür Gündem and Azadiya Welat papers, Democratic Modernity magazine and Fırat distribution company.
44 Kurdish journalists (36 have been in detention since December 2011) are being accused and charged for the news they wrote which are considered evidence of their ties with the KCK organization.
The paper mentioned the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPT) report which confirmed the fact that jailed press members have been arrested for their journalistic activities. It was pointed out that jailed journalists Ayşe Oyman, Fatma Koçak and Selahattin Aslan have been on indefinite-irreversible hunger strike.
The first hearing of the trial against journalists was held on 10 September 2012 and witnessed protests as lawyers left the court and journalists tied their mouths with black bands to condemn the court board s denial to self-defense in the Kurdish language. Istanbul 15th High Criminal Court gave a ruling without trial as the defendants, lawyers and audience were denied permission to attend the three-day trial in Istanbul. The hearings scheduled from 10 to 14 September were cancelled on 12 September and adjourned to 12 November.