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Progressive Journalists Association (PJA) Achievement Awards 2016 have been granted to the awardees in a ceremony organized at Çankaya Municipality Contemporary Arts Center in Ankara.
Speaking at the ceremony, PJA President Ahmet Abakay has said, “We demand release of all imprisoned journalists. All lawsuits filed against the journalists must be withdrawn. This is the pre-requisite of democracy and freedom of the press”.
Message from HDP’s imprisoned leaders Yüksekdağ and Demirtaş
Following Abakay’s speech, letters of Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) imprisoned Co-Chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ were read out.
In her letter, Yüksekdağ wrote, “I whole-heartedly congratulate our friends who stepped forward by winning awards today with their works. Those who couldn’t win an award today actually deserve an award for practicing journalism under these conditions. I wish success to you with your works”.
Demirtaş wrote, “It is really hard to write the facts, explain the truth and make comments under these conditions but believe me, it is really important. You also see that the facts are covered by international media one way or another and become subjected to international democratic institutions. No inhumane and unlawful practice remain a secret. I wish you good luck with your works in these difficulty days”.
Solidarity Award granted to Ahmet Şık
The association deemed journalist Ahmet Şık, who has been sent to prison for canvassing for “FETÖ/PDY (Fethullahist Terror Organization/Parallel State Structure)” and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party), worthy of the Solidarity Award.
Şık sent a message from Silivri Prison via his wife Yonca Şık, reading “I send my regards to all journalists who insist on pursing truth, and I want to receive news report award, not solidarity award”.
The laureates called for the release of the imprisoned journalists. (EA/TK)
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