Freedom House Condemns Detention of Journalists in Turkey

Washington

In response to the pre-trial detention on terror propaganda charges of Turkish journalists and human rights defenders Şebnem Korur Fıncancı, Erol Önderoğlu, and Ahmet Nesin, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“Imprisoning journalists and human rights defenders for ‘terror propaganda’ shows just how vague and overly broad Turkey’s laws are,” said Daniel Calingaert, Executive Vice President. “This decision is a stark reminder to the European Union that it should not compromise on its values in negotiations with Turkey over visa liberalization. The EU should stand firm against the Turkish state’s abuse of the law to silence critical voices. Turkey should release Fıncancı, Önderoğlu, and Nesin immediately.”

Background:

Şebnem Korur Fıncancı, Erol Önderoğlu, and Ahmet Nesin were among the 44 participants in a campaign called “Co-Editors-in-Chief” in support of Turkish-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem. Starting on World Press Freedom Day on May 3, 2016, the journalists and human rights defenders acted as temporary editors of the newspaper, which has come under heavy pressure during the resumption of fighting in the last year between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).  Şebnem Korur Fıncancı is the head of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey; Erol Önderoğlu is a journalist and Turkey representative of Reporters Sans Frontieres (RSF); Ahmet Nesin is a journalist.

Turkey is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2016, and Partly Free in Freedom on the Net 2015.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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