Aslı Ceren Aslan, the responsible managing editor of the leftist, pro-Kurdish Özgür Gelecek newspaper, was arrested on February 9, 2017 in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, on the border with Syria. Her newspaper said Aslan was in Şanlıurfa to cover developments in the neighboring country.
After four days in police custody, a Şanlıurfa court jailed her pending trial on charges of “border violation” and “membership of a terrorist organization.” Aslan denied both accusations. Her lawyer said Aslan was arrested while doing her job as a journalist and maintained she was charged with and imprisoned for terrorist group membership despite lack of evidence to that effect.
The lawyer, Kübra Gündüz, also said that Aslan was strip searched at the gendarmerie and police anti-terror stations.
Gündüz said Aslan had a number of cases against her due to her position at Özgür Gelecek as responsible managing editor. She said the court decision to jail Aslan pending trial was because of these existing cases.
Aslan was sent to Şanlıurfa Prison No. 2, awaiting trial.