Felicity Webb, an Amnesty International activist from the UK, has written a letter of solidarity to journalist Ayşenur Parıldak, who is among the dozens of journalists arrested in Turkey in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July 2016.
In her letter Webb wrote Ayşenur she was dismayed and saddened to hear about her imprisonment, adding that Amnesty International is aware of her situation and is working to secure her release.
“I hope you will soon be released and join your family and friends. Please try to stay strong. You are not alone. Thinking of you and sending warm wishes and solidarity,” wrote Webb.
Parıldak, a former reporter for the now-closed Zaman daily, was given seven years, six months in prison on charges of membership in a terrorist organization in November 2017.
She received the sentence after being kept in pretrial detention since August 2016, shortly after the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016. The journalist, who was 27 years old when first arrested, was a court reporter for Zaman based in Ankara. Zaman was closed down by the Turkish government following the failed coup due to its links to the Gülen movement.
Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 212 journalists and media workers were in jail as of Feb. 27, 2019, most in pretrial detention. Of those in prison 135 were under arrest pending trial, while only 77 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 168 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey.(SCF with turkishminute.com)