IPI says 171 journalists behind bars in Turkey

According to the International Press Institute (IPI) currently a total of 171 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey due to their journalistic activities. The international media watchdog called for the immediate release of jailed journalists in Turkey on its website while displaying the cases of all 171 reporters and charges against them on Friday.

IPI runs a social media campaign under the hashtag #FreeTurkeyJournalists in an effort to raise awareness about the grave media freedoms situation in Turkey which has become the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.

Although the number of imprisoned journalists varies according to different criteria by different media watchdogs, there is consensus that Turkey has drifted into a severely oppressive regime, particularly since the massive corruption investigations of December 2013 and the controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 283 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 18, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 258 are arrested pending trial, only 25 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 135 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. Turkey’s Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) recently announced that more than 900 press cards were cancelled.

Turkey has been undertaking a massive purge since the coup attempt that is not limited to journalists. Thousands of academics, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, teachers and doctors are behind bars over charges of coup involvement. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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