Representatives of journalism organizations whose demand to meet with Cumhuriyet daily Chief Editor, Can Dündar and its Ankara Representative, Erdem Gül has been rejected have held a press statement in front of Silivri prison and kept “Hope Watch”.
International Press Institute (IPI), Committee of Protecting Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RS), Ethical Journalism Network (EJN), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Pen International, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and South East European Media Organization (SEEMO) had demanded a meeting with Dündar and Gül by submitting a joint application to Ministry of Justice.
Nevertheless, the ministry has turned down the demand. Representatives of IPI, CPJ, RSF, EJN, IFJ, and EJF protested the rejection by holding a press statement in front of Silivri Prison.
Following statements are included in the press statement:
“Visiting is not allowed anymore”
“In recent years, over 100 journalists are imprisoned. Journalists in Turkey could usually visit their colleagues. However, in recent months Turkey’s Ministry of Interior has prohibited visiting to Dündar and Gül. Those allowed are only their family members, attorneys and MPs”.
Ministry rejects the demand citing the regulation
“The alliance consisting of 11 freedom of expression and press defender organizations submitted a joint petition on January 8, 2016 to the ministry to visit Dündar and Gül on January 27.
“However, the ministry rejected the demand by citing the regulations on January 22.
“The organization condemns the rejection of their demand and accusations against Dündar and Gül”.
“Abuse of power”
“Indeed, journalists making reports on subjects concerning public being subjected to persecution, and rejecting the right to visiting are a right violation and gross abuse of power.
“Exercising anti-terror laws against journalists is only the latest of the similar situations recurring”.
“This situation is being added to the list of developments demonstrating growing autocracy and corrosion of human rights.
“These developments involve politicization of jurisprudence, abuse of crime laws in a similar manner, imposing direct bans on spread of certain contents, using state institutions and economic means to silence media outlets, verbal and sometimes physical assaults against critical journalists, and hatred campaigns on Internet targeting dissidences”.
“Those arrested of journalism shall be released”
“The alliance calls for Turkish authorities to release Dündar and Gül immediately, drop all charges against them and all journalists in prison because of voicing their opinion to be released.
“The alliance also calls on lawmakers in Turkey to take steps to reverse the course heading towards autocracy, and governments of democratic countries to inflict pressure on Turkish government to fulfil its engagement with human rights within the scope of national and international law”. (EKN/TK)
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