Turkish investigative journalist Mehmet Baransu on Tuesday marked his sixth year in prison for publishing leaked government documents.
A former correspondent for the now defunct Taraf newspaper, Baransu was arrested on March 2, 2015 for allegedly “obtaining and publishing” classified state documents.
The charges against Baransu relate to a series of articles he wrote for Taraf in early 2010, revealing an alleged plot by the Turkish military to overthrow the government.
The 43 year-old-journalist is among the longest-imprisoned journalists at the moment in Turkey. Baransu, who he had almost 80 cases against him at the time of his arrest, has faced approximately 140 cases to this day.
In July, Baransu was sentenced to a total of 19 years and six months in prison in southern Mersin province for his critical reporting in 2013 on an alleged customs fraud involving the import of genetically modified rice to Turkey.
There are currently 175 journalists behind bars in Turkey and 167 are either wanted, in exile or at large, according to the Stockholm Center for Freedom’s “Jailed and Wanted Journalists in Turkey” database.
Media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) describes Turkey as “the world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists.”
The 2020 World Press Freedom Index of the RSF ranked Turkey 154th among 180 countries in terms of press freedom.
Nesibe Baransu, who was married to the journalist for five months at the time of his detainment, received her share of judicial harassment, according to the Expression Interrupted story.