Ömer Çelik is a journalist and photographer for the Birgün daily and DIHA news agency. He is one of 40 journalists who were arrested during a series of raids on December 20, 2011 in the scope of the ongoing investigations into the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella group that allegedly encompasses the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). Çelik and his colleagues are accused of being members of the KCK and their trial is still ongoing at the moment. All of them are either part of the pro-Kurdish media or, like Çelik, members of the mainstream media who occasionally work with their pro-Kurdish colleagues. Çelik denies the charges and his lawyers insist he is only being accused for his professional activities. As the court has declared this ongoing investigation secret, they have not even been able to know the entirety of what they are being charged with and what evidence exists in their case. Çelik is known for authoring several articles criticizing the authorities, as well as his investigations into the shortcomings of the official response to an earthquake in Van region, in October 2011.
Ömer Çelik has been RELEASED