Zehra Doğan, About
Zehra Doğan, 28, is a reporter and an editor of the pro-Kurdish Jin News Agency (JİNHA), which is staffed entirely by women.
Doğan, also a painter, was arrested by the police on July 21, 2016 in the southeastern province of Mardin. She was jailed pending trial two days later on the charge of “being a member of a terrorist organization,” based on her reports from Nusaybin, a district in Mardin, her paintings about military operations in the district and an accompanying curfew, her social media posts and witness statements.
Doğan was subsequently formally charged with “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorism propaganda” in an indictment.
On 9 December 2016, more than four months into her pre-trial detention, Doğan appeared before judges of the Mardin 2nd High Criminal Court for the first hearing of her trial. The court acquitted her of the charge of “membership in a terrorist organization” and decided to release her pending trial on the charge of “terrorism propaganda.”
On 2 March 2017, the court sentenced Doğan to 2 years, 9 months and 22 days in jail for “terrorism propaganda.” The ruling was upheld by an appeals court on 2 June.
On 12 June 2017, Doğan was detained as she was traveling from Diyarbakır to Mardin and sent to Diyarbakır E-Type Prison to serve her prison term.
In October 2018, Doğan and 19 other inmates were transferred to the Tarsus Prison in Mersin against their wishes.
Doğan was released from the Tarsus Prison on 24 February 2019 upon the completion of her prison sentence.
Kurdish artist and journalist Zehra Doğan freed
Kurdish artist and journalist Zehra Doğan has been released after spending nearly 600 days behind bars in Turkey, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency reported on Sunday.
Turkish authorities on July 23, 2017, sentenced Doğan to two years and nine months in jail for “exceeding the limits of criticism” by depicting the destruction of the southeastern Mardin's Nusaybin district by state security forces. She also faced charges for "making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organisation" in her work.
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Doğan was first detained by police in Nusaybin, in Turkey's southeastern Mardin Province on July 22, 2016. The following day, the Nusaybin Court of Penal Peace ordered the journalist jailed, pending trial, on charges of "being member of an armed terrorist organization," CPJ reported at the time. Mardin's Second Court for Serious Crimes on October 9, 2016, indicted her on that charge, and that of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization." On December 9, 2016, the 2nd Mardin Court of Serious Crimes released Doğan pending the outcome of her trial, according to reports.
At the time of Doğan's arrest, Nusaybin was the site of urban warfare between Turkish security forces and ethnic Kurdish fighters. According to the record of her interrogation by police, the court's order to jail her pending trial, and her indictment, all of which CPJ reviewed, the state's evidence consists of testimony from people saying they saw Doğan talking with people in the street.
The witnesses said that they could not hear the conversations, but that they were "organization meetings." Witnesses also said they saw Doğan ask locals to pose for photographs with tools as though they were helping fighters dig trenches and construct barricades to show the local population's support for the fight. Doğan denied being a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), maintained that the conversations in question were interviews conducted as part of her reporting, and denied that the photographs were posed, the records show.
As of late 2017, Doğan was in Diyarbakır Prison, according to reports.*
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