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Reporter Abdurrahman Gök arrested, accused of "making terrorist propaganda"

(BIANET/IFEX) - The Dicle News Agency (DIHA) has condemned the police action against their reporter, Abdurrahman Gök, who was taken into police custody on 23 March 2009, in Siirt. His arrest was ordered the next day. He is accused of "making terrorist propaganda". Currently, four reporters from the agency are in prison.

DIHA editorial manager Devrim Göktas requested the immediate release of their employees and demanded public support during a press conference in Diyarbakir.

Göktas criticized the government's "hypocrisy," saying that despite lots of talk on democratization and improvements in human rights, there are serious obstacles for freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

He noted that currently four reporters of DIHA are in prison. Gök was taken into custody while trying to cover the Newroz festivities. He is accused of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization".

In Siirt, DIHA employees are frequently threatened and harassed by the police, Göktas said, adding that they have filed complaints before the Human Rights Association and the prosecution.

"The police's approach is related to the approach of the government. We're not even allowed to follow the PM's programs."

Human rights activists and NGO representatives declared their support for DIHA, during the press conference.

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