Amnesty projects names of jailed journalists on Turkish Embassy building in the Hague

Amnesty International on Tuesday night projected the names of imprisoned Turkish journalists onto the facade of the Turkish Embassy in The Hague.

The protest came as a move to draw attention to the “deteriorating” situation of journalists in Turkey and to mark May 3, International Press Freedom Day, according to AI.

Among the journalists whose names were on the building were Mahir Kanaat from the Birgün daily and Ahmet Şık from Cumhuriyet. The names were projected along with a statement demanding their release, at around 10 p.m. on May 2.

“Free Mahir Kanaat” and “Free Ahmet Şık” appeared on the embassy building along with a statement saying “Journalism is not a crime” in both Turkish and English.

AI also launched a campaign on Twitter late in March to support jailed journalists in Turkey, calling for their release, with the hashtag #FreeTurkeyMedia.

Since then, a Twitter account under the pseudonym @FreeTurkeyMedia has been calling on Twitter users to make a #FreeTurkeyMedia sign, take a photo with it and tweet it with the hashtag to support the release of all journalists in Turkish jails.

In the World Press Freedom Day on May 3, Turkey stands out from the crowd by a distant margin by holding a record number of 235 journalists and media workers behind bars, breaking an all time world record. More than half of the journalists who are in prison around the world are now located in Turkey, a member of the Council of Europe (CoE) and a candidate member for the European Union (EU).

Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 235 journalists are now in jails, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 214 are arrested pending trial, Only 21 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons.  An outstanding detention warrants remain for 103 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey. Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the coup attempt. (SCF with May 3, 2017

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