The WeltN24 GmbH group, which owns the German Die Welt newspaper, has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg in the case of its employee, Deniz Yücel, who has been in pretrial detention in Turkey since February on charges of terrorism, saying that his groundless incarceration made direct reporting from Turkey impossible.
According to a story on Welt.de on Saturday, the group criticized Turkey for violating freedom of the press and freedom of expression by imprisoning Yücel on groundless accusations.
Stephanie Caspar, managing director of WeltN24, said: “We are using all legal means to defend the press freedom of both Deniz Yücel and the publisher. The complaint before the European Court of Human Rights is another important step. A journalist cannot be simply jailed because he does his job,” in a Reuters story on Saturday.
After Yücel’s lawyers filed a complaint in April, the ECtHR asked the Turkish government to respond by Oct. 23.
Yücel, who was detained in Turkey on Feb. 14 as part of an investigation for publishing stories on the leaked emails of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, was arrested by a court on Feb. 27 on charges of terrorist propaganda and public incitement and sent to Silivri Prison in İstanbul.
The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 275 journalists are now in jails as of August 5, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 251 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 109 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 controversial coup attempt. (SCF with turkishminute.com)