Journalist, artist Zehra Doğan cleared of ‘terror’ charges after serving 2 years in prison / BIANET ENGLISH

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Doğan served 2 years in prison before an appeals court overturned her sentence.

Bianet English, May 11, 2024

Kurdish journalist and artist Zehra Doğan has been acquitted of all charges related to ‘terrorist propaganda’ due to a lack of legal grounds for the accusations following her retrial. 

Doğan, who was initially detained and arrested in the district of Nusaybin in Mardin, faced a sentence of 2 years, 9 months, and 22 days in prison following her social media posts. These posts were deemed by the authorities as “propaganda for a terrorist organization.” 

After about two years of incarceration, Doğan was released. Subsequent changes in the law led to an appeal to the Supreme Court, resulting in a retrial at the Mardin 2nd Heavy Penal Court . The first hearing of this new trial took place today.

During the proceedings, the prosecution requested an acquittal for Doğan, stating that the charges against her were not recognized as criminal acts under the law. Doğan’s attorney, Emrah Akbulut, supported this position, asserting that there was no evidence in the case files that warranted a conviction.

The court ruled in favor of the acquittal, aligning with the prosecutor’s opinion that the charges did not constitute a crime according to the current law.

Doğan is known for her political artworks that often address the struggles of the Kurdish people and the repression they face.  One of her notable works is based on Ceylan Önkol, a Kurdish child who was killed by the army’s artillery fire in 2009. 

Doğan’s art has been recognized with several European awards and has been exhibited in prestigious venues such as London’s Tate Modern.

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