Set journalists free in Turkey: EFJ Campaign update

Here is the latest news update from the Set journalists free in Turkey campaign, organised by the European Federation of Journalists:

  • (18 Oct 2012) No let-up in judicial harassment of journalists since July reform
    Despite Law 6325’s adoption in July, the media continue to be the target of constant judicial harassment, in which the KCK and Ergenekon trials are just the most visible cases. full report link
  • (18 Oct 2012) Ankara Under Fire for Journalists’ Treatment
    The European Union has strongly criticized Turkey for its record on media freedom in its annual report on the progress of prospective EU members. The EU says “increasing concerns” about court cases against reporters endanger Turkey’s bid for membership. The rights group International Federation of Journalists reports there are around 75 journalists currently jailed in Turkey, mainly because of how they covered issues deemed by the government to be controversial. full report link
  • (16 Oct 2012) Female Journalist Receives Life-Time Imprisonment
    Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals ratified a life-time imprisonment sentence against Atılım newspaper’s editor-in-chief Hatice Duman, just as it overturned a sentence of nearly 19 years in prison for journalist Necati Abay who was also standing trial in the same case. full report link
  • (16 Oct 2012) EU Commissioner Stefan Füle expresses “serious concern” about numerous court cases against writers and journalists in Turkey
    In letter sent to the European Federation of Journalists, Stefan Füle, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, writes that “as regards Turkey, the developments on the ground regarding the respects for these freedoms do indeed raise serious concerns. Turkey’s wide application of the laws on terrorism and organised crime is particularly worrisome, leading to recurring infringements of the right to liberty and security, of the right to a fair trial and of freedom of expression, assembly and association. Moreover, restrictions on freedom of the media in practice and numerous court cases against writers and journalists remain issues of serious concern”. full letter pdf
  • (12 Oct 2012) European Journalists Share EU Concerns over Freedom of Expression in Turkey
    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European group the Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcome the EU Commission Turkey Progress report’s findings, urging the European Commission to support the on-going campaign by European journalists to secure freedom for all journalists detained on terror charges. full text in link
  • (11 Oct 2012) Council of Europe : PACE committee seeks action from Russia, Turkey, Hungary and Belarus
    Article 301 of Turkey’s Penal Code should be immediately repealed, since the revision of 2008 has not resolved the problem that this can be applied unduly against journalists and others. Meanwhile, the sheer number of criminal investigations against journalists – particularly for their reports on the “Ergenekon” conspiracy – is itself an indication of “a serious violation of media freedom”. full report (pdf) 
  • (11 Oct 2012) Türkei: 44 kurdische Journalisten vor Gericht – dju-Vertreter als Beobachter in Istanbul
    In der Türkei findet derzeit einer der weltweit größten Prozesse gegen kritische Journalisten statt. Sie sollen der kurdischen PKK-Guerilla angehören oder ihr zuarbeiten und damit den Terror unterstützen. Verteidigung, Gewerkschaften und Menschenrechtsorganisationen sehen darin einen Versuch der islamischen AKP-Regierung, die kurdische Presse vor dem Hintergrund des verstärkt militärisch geführten Kampfes gegen die PKK mundtot zu machen… link
  • (10 Oct 2012) European Commission : Turkey 2012 Progress Report
    (…) “A large number of cases were brought against writers, academics and journalists writing and working on the Kurdish issue, but also scholars and researchers. Several left-wing and Kurdish journalists were arrested on charges of engaging in propaganda for terrorism, others remained in prison. (See Situation in the east and south-east) More than 2.800 students are in detention, mostly for terrorism related charges. The legal framework on organised crime and terrorism is still imprecise and contains definitions which are open to abuse, leading to numerous indictments and convictions. Moreover, its interpretation by prosecutors and courts is uneven and is not in line with the European Convention on Human Rights or the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. Turkey needs to amend its penal code and anti-terror legislation to make a clear distinction between the incitement to violence and the expression of nonviolent ideas. (…) High-level government and state officials and the military repeatedly turn publicly against the press and launch court cases. On a number of occasions journalists have been fired after signing articles openly critical of the government. All of this, combined with a high concentration of the media in industrial conglomerates with interests going far beyond the free circulation of information and ideas, has a chilling effect and limits freedom of expression in practice, while making self-censorship a common phenomenon in the Turkish media.”(…) (full report in PDF)
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