The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on the Turkish government to investigate the mistreatment of Adnan Al-rajhi, a Yemeni journalist based in Istanbul, during his detention in Turkey.
According to the IFJ, Al-rajhi was held for 15 days in three different police and security facilities in January 2020 and subjected to violence and forced into a confession during his detention.
“We are calling on the authorities in Turkey to investigate the serious violations of our colleague’s rights and hold accountable those responsible for his mistreatment,” IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said. “We also condemn the employer’s failure to pay him appropriate compensation, including the coverage of medical costs. It must take action urgently.”
Al-rajhi was working for Belqees TV, a Yemeni media organization based in Istanbul. He left Turkey following the incident and has been living in Egypt since February 2020.
Turkey, one of the most notorious countries in the world in terms of jailing journalists, has also gone after foreign reporters in an ever-escalating crackdown on freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
According to the Stockholm Center for Freedom’s “Jailed and Wanted Journalists in Turkey” database, 173 journalists are behind bars in Turkey and 167 are wanted and either in exile or at large.
Turkey is also ranked 153rd among 180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in April.
In its annual report, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) underlined that the number of journalists jailed for their reporting in 2020 reached the highest level since the organization began keeping track, with Turkey, the People’s Republic of China and Egypt imprisoning the most reporters last year.