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Turkey detains third journalist in two days

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The police in Balıkesir have detained journalist Cengiz Erdinç on accusations of spreading misinformation, in a third incident of journalist detention in two days, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing the T24 news website.

Erdinç’s detention was ordered by Ankara prosecutors, who accused the journalist of “openly spreading misleading information.”

The authorities on Wednesday had detained journalists Tolga Şardan and Dinçer Gökçe, both on similar grounds.

Şardan was arrested by a court on Thursday, charged by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office with “public dissemination of misleading information” under Article 217/A of the Turkish Penal Code, which was amended by the 2022 disinformation law.

Last year, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) passed controversial legislation that criminalized the dissemination of “false or misleading information.” Since the law’s enactment, the authorities have detained and prosecuted several members of the press as well as social media users based on it.

Turkey is ranked 165th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ latest press freedom index.

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