The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has fined Turkey 5,000 euros for temporarily closing the opposition Evrensel newspaper in 2001.
The court ruled that closing the newspaper violated the freedom of expression, in the case filed by Fevzi Saygılı, the owner of the Evrensel newspaper at the time and Ali Karataş, the newspaper’s editor.
The duo were fined after the domestic courts found them guilty of breaking the law for publishing the names of two state security officials in 2000 on the fourth anniversary of the beating to death of Evrensel journalist Metin Göktepe under police detention.
Prosecutors alleged they had revealed the names of officers involved in the fight against terrorism, “making them targets for terrorist organizations,” while the lawyer of the applicants to the ECHR argued that the names had already been made public.
Eleven officers were tried over Göktepe’s death. Five were acquitted, and six received 18-year prison sentences, commuted to seven years because of “good manners at court” and because “it was impossible to determine the real assailant.”
After spending one year and eight months in prison, the jailed police officers were released as part of an amnesty.