A Turkish journalist faces up to 16 months in prison for criticizing the one-year prison sentence given to the police officer who severely beat a woman.
Kemal Göktaş, of the Turkish daily newspaper Milliyet, was charged with “insulting a police officer” Nov. 4 after he criticized the light sentencing of a Turkish police officer charged with beating a woman in custody in an Oct. 6 article, the Index on Censorship reported.
Göktaş is expected to testify in court Nov. 14.
The charge against Göktaş comes a month after Turkish officials promised to take steps to improve press freedom in the country, according to a report by the New York-based Committee to Project Journalist. The Turkish Ministry of Justice said it would reform the country’s anti-press laws and make independent reviews of cases involving imprisoned journalists available to the public.
“It is not even possible to mention press freedom in Turkey,” Turkish Journalists’ Union President Turgay Olcayto said in a recent interview with the Association for European Journalists.. “The ruling party has banned information that they do not want leaked to the public.”
Washington, D.C.-based rights group Freedom House downgraded Turkey's press freedom climate from "partly free" to "not free" this year.