November 15, 2018
On 6 November 2018, academic and lawyer Hanifi Barış was notified by the Prosecutor’s Office in Bakırköy that an investigation was opened on whether he insulted the Turkish president through his social media posts. He has been summoned to the Prosecutor’s Office to give his statement between 26-28 November 2018 and may be detained following his statement. There is an ongoing investigation against the human rights defender regarding charges of creating “terrorist propaganda” for the same social media posts.
Hanifi Barış is a lawyer and academic, who has also worked on human rights, and has defended the right of his clients to represent themselves in the Kurdish language. He is a member of Academics for Peace, a group which has condemned state violence in southeastern Turkey and signed the 2016 peace petition “We will not be a party to this crime!”.
On 4 July, Hanifi Barış was arrested by the 10th Criminal Peace Judge. During his interrogation at the Prosecutor’s Office, he was accused of creating “terrorist propaganda” and questioned about his social media posts, which consisted of shared news articles and commentaries from international and local media sources. The human rights defender had not commented on the contents of the links. On 23 July 2018, Istanbul’s 29th High Criminal Court accepted the indictment against Hanifi Barış on the same charges and confirmed his detention. He was released on 18 September 2018 after being held in pre-trial detention for over two months.