Hanifi Baris, an Aberdeen University graduate who has been in Turkish jail since July 4, 2018, was released on probation by the court on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.
Baris, who previously practiced law for several years in Turkey and specializes in political theory, uploaded a number of articles denouncing President Erdogan toward the end of June when the Turkish leader secured victory in a national election. According to Scotland-based The Press and Journal, Baris was then arrested by police in Istanbul in July for “posting items with criminal content on Facebook and Twitter accounts.”
The Aberdeen University Graduate is among the Academics for Peace who signed a declaration titled “We will not be a party to this crime.” He had his first hearing on Tuesday.
According to a report by Bianet, Baris presented his defense at the court, saying, “I do not think my social media posts constitute a crime. I am in shock. The highest priority of academics is to share the information they obtain, and social media is one of its tools.”
Endangered Scholars Worldwide welcomes the news of Baris's release great relief. However, we remain deeply distressed by the Turkish government’s actions, which harm the entire educational community by undermining universities’ abilities to meet scientific and ethical standards as well as to fulfill intellectual, educational, social, and institutional responsibilities.