An Adana court on Wednesday ruled to end a five-month-long house arrest for visually impaired journalist Cüneyt Arat, who is facing terror charges due to his alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement.
“The court ruled to end my house arrest but imposed a travel ban on me. I am very happy today. The electronic ankle bracelet I am wearing will be removed today or tomorrow,” said Arat in a Twitter message after the hearing in Adana.
The young journalist also said the terrorism charges directed against himself were baseless.
“The prosecutor accuses me of being a member of a terrorist organization. He forgot to accuse me of being a sniper,” said the visually impaired journalist in another Twitter message posted before the hearing.
Arat was arrested on July 21 for social media posts that allegedly praise the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15. The disabled journalist has been under house arrest wearing an electronic ankle bracelet since then.
“Those who did not dare to handcuff me
Placed the cuff on my ankle.
I will never retreat.
I will keep telling – even shouting — the truth.
Those who jailed me at home
Those who made me live under arrest
Those who torture me as if I were a terrorist
Should remember that I will stand against them on Judgment Day and complain about them to GOD.
Pressure and torture will never make me retreat.
Free press cannot be silenced! ” said Arat in a letter to Turkish Minute on Nov. 3.
Cüneyt Arat was released after being briefly detained on June 15, 2016 in Adana by police on suspicion of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
A report issued by new advocacy group the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) last week said that 191 journalists are in jail, 92 are wanted and 839 have been charged in Turkey.
SCF has documented the individual cases of 191 journalists who are either convicted and serving time in prison or jailed in pre-trial detention.
According to the Swedish-based center, most of the journalists have not even seen an indictment against them. The report stated that 92 journalists are wanted for arrest but remain at large either in Turkey or abroad.