STOP THE DEATH OF JOURNALISM IN TURKEY
April 20, 2018: Ahmet Şik was released after spending 425 days in prison, but the charges against him have not been dropped.
Turkey now jails more journalists than any other country. One third of all imprisoned journalists in the world are being held in Turkish prisons, the vast majority waiting to be brought to trial.
Journalists and media workers from all strands of opposition media have been targeted in an unprecedented crackdown since the failed violent coup attempt in July 2016.
Coupled with the closure of more than 160 media outlets, the message is clear and disturbing: the space for dissent is ever-shrinking and speaking out comes at an immeasurable cost.
Journalists and other media workers must be freed from pre-trial detention. A free media is an essential component of any functioning, pluralist society.
They must be allowed to do their job, because journalism is not a crime.
Visit our Human Rights in Turkey page to learn more about the human rights crisis.
To: Mr. Abdulhamit Gül., Minister of Justice, Republic of Turkey
I urge you to ensure that all journalists and other media workers held in pre-trial detention since the 15 July violent coup attempt, some for over six months, are released without delay.
Whilst it is indeed the right and duty of the government to investigate last summer’s failed coup attempt and to combat terrorism, it is also the responsibility of the authorities to ensure fundamental human rights are not violated in the process and the right to freedom of expression is respected.
The lengthy imprisonment of more than 120 journalists, executives and others in the media pending trial since July 2016 is arbitrary and punitive. This shocking number makes Turkey the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. I am worried that many of those detained may be facing unfounded terrorism charges aimed at harassing and intimidating journalists exercising their right to freedom of expression.
I call on you to use all your powers to uphold the fundamental principles of freedom of expression, fair trial, and to ensure that no prisoners are held in inhuman or degrading conditions.