Bitlis Journalists Association President Sinan Aygul, who reported on corruption allegations in the 450 million dollar Geothermal Energy Project in Bitlis in 2014, was arrested on penalty of a lawsuit filed against him for calling the AKP Bitlis Deputy Vahit Kiler a “wolf politician” in the same news report.
According to the news in the newspaper Duvar, In the case heard at the 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance for Aygül in 2015, a judicial fine of TL 1,500 was imposed for the crime of ‘insulting through the press’ and the announcement of the verdict was postponed. Aygül’s fine was finalized on the new punishment he received for a harassment report he made later on.
Journalist Sinan Aygül emphasized that the news he wrote is within the scope of freedom of the press and did not agree to pay the judicial fine. Arrest warrant was issued by the Tatvan Public Prosecutor’s Office. Aygül was detained at the Bitlis Courthouse where he was going for another case then arrested and sent to the Bitlis E-Type Prison.
Finally, according to the Freedom of Expression and Press Agenda report prepared by the Expression Interrupted platform, 168 journalists appeared before a judge in 116 cases in the second quarter of 2022. After the arrest of 16 journalists and media workers in Diyarbakır, the number of journalists in prison has increased to 67.