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Municipal employees attack journalist for taking pictures of fire

(BIANET/IFEX) - Haci Bogatekin, owner of the "Gerger Firat" newspaper in the Gerger district of Adiyaman, southeastern Turkey, was trying to take pictures of a fire that had broken out in the municipality waste dump when he was attacked by municipal employees.

When he was trying to take images of the fire, which had broken out in the dump and spread to the surrounding forest, municipal employees punched him and injured his face.

His son, Özgür Bogatekin, told BIANET that his father was beaten by municipal staff and relatives of Mayor Arif Karatekin. His camera was also broken.

Bogatekin was taken to a health centre in Gerger and treated. He has filed a criminal complaint against Mayor Arif Karatekin and his brother Ilhan Karatekin.

A few days before, "Gerger Firat" had reported on municipal workers who had taken the municipality to court after being dismissed without being paid severance pay. The article was entitled "Shock seizure for the municipality".

Özgür Bogatekin said that before beating his father, the attackers said, "You cannot report on us, you cannot take our photos."

The journalist faces dozens of trials for criticising local authorities in Gerger for their performance and actions; he stands accused of "insults".

He has also spent 109 days in prison after accusing a prosecutor of being in contact with the religious Fethullah Gülen movement.

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