On August 26, 2016, the lecturer and journalist Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül, who was arrested after being detained for his “journalistic activities”, died as a result of a heart attack he had suffered in prison the previous day in the morning.
Özşengül was accused of “changing the constitutional order by carrying out a coup” for making programs on Samanyolu TV, writing and tweeting articles in the “samanyoluhaber.com” and sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment. After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the coup charge on the grounds that it was not fixed, this time his sentence for membership of an armed terrorist organization was reduced to 12 years in prison. Despite the fact that the prosecutor of the Supreme Court also appealed this sentence, there was resistance to not being released.
The deceased Özşengül, despite the open heart surgery he underwent 2 years ago, was left to die by insisting on being kept under unsanitary conditions in the prison. A large number of journalists are likewise kept in cells, simply because of their thoughts, and subjected to the death penalty in slow motion.
As IJA, our demand is that all journalists, whose only duty is to inform the public both in Turkey and in the world, be released as soon as possible.