Turkey: Expert opinion on charges against Şahin Alpay

This expert opinion has been prepared to advise on the compatibility the charges brought against them with international and European standards on freedom of expression. We understand that this opinion will be relied upon by the defendant in cases currently pending against them before the Istanbul 13th High Criminal Court.

In this opinion, we conclude that the provisions, under which the defendant has been charged, in particular Article 5 of Law no. 3713 on Counter-Terrorism and Articles 309/1, 311, 312 and 314(2) of the Turkish Penal Code, do not comply with international and European standards on freedom of expression. As such, it is ARTICLE 19’s view that the charges levelled against the defendant amount to unlawful restrictions on the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. Having reviewed the indictment, ARTICLE 19 further considers that the charges brought against the defendant are unfounded and amount to a politically motivated campaign of harassment against journalists, contrary to Article 5 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 18 in conjunction with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

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