Cartoonists Rights Network International is shocked to learn that the judicial system in Turkey has levied what amounts to draconian prison sentences on the Cumhuriyet newspaper journalists who have been falsely accused of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization.
Among those sentenced is our client, cartoonist Musa Kart, sentenced to 3 years 9 months, who, along with his colleagues, will remain free, but under court restrictions, pending appeal. Musa is the winner of the CRNI 2005 Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning.
He and the other journalists sentenced with him have been critics of Turkey’s leadership for more than ten years. The international human rights organizations monitoring the trial of these journalists all conclude that the charges against these journalists have been spurious and unfounded, and the judicial process a sham.
We will report more on Musa’s situation as events unfold.
We call on the government of Turkey to rescind all of these prison sentences, recognize its international obligations to free speech and a free press, and restore these journalists to their families.