The Washington Post

Journalist jailed under ‘disinforma­tion’ law


A Turkish court sentenced a journalist to 10 months in prison Tuesday for spreading disinforma­tion, handing down the first jail term under a new law that critics say threatens free speech.

The court’s decision comes four months after parliament passed a “disinforma­tion law” that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AK Party said would protect the public against the spread of false or misleading informatio­n.

Sinan Aygul, a journalist in eastern Turkey’s Bitlis province, was detained early in December after he wrote on Twitter that a 14-year-old girl had allegedly been sexually abused by men including police officers and soldiers.

He retracted the posts and apologized for writing them without confirming the story with authoritie­s but was later arrested.

On Tuesday, a local court sentenced Aygul to 10 months in prison, ruling that he had disseminat­ed misleading informatio­n that could lead to fear and panic among the public, according to a court document.

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