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47 aggravated life sentences, 3,000 years in prison given to journalists since failed coup

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Journalists in Turkey have been given 47 aggravated life sentences with no chance of parole and a total of 3,000 years in prison in trials that have taken place since a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to an Independent Communication Network (BİA) report.

Dozens of critical journalists in Turkey were jailed in the aftermath of the failed coup on terrorism or coup charges, while many media outlets were closed down.

The report showed that 315 journalists face aggravated life sentences and one a life sentence, while others face a total of 3,034 years in prison and fines amounting to TL 4.4 million. The number of media organizations shut down following the coup attempt was 174, the same report showed.

With regards to the number of journalists who were detained in 2017, the BİA report revealed that 85 journalists were taken into custody in 2017, 31 of whom are from media organizations linked to the Gülen movement, 20 from Kurdish media outlets and five from international media outlets.

The Turkish government accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the coup attempt on July 15, 2016 and labels it a “terrorist organization,” although the movement strongly denies involvement in the coup attempt or any terrorist activity.

The number of journalists who have been detained since the declaration of a two-year state of emergency in Turkey on July 20, 2016 is 201.

According to another report released by the Free Journalists Initiative in July 2018, there were 192 journalists in Turkey’s jails at the time of issuance.

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