Stockholm (Jan.25, 2017) – Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has expressed its concern at the many cases of serious threats to media freedom in Europe listed by the Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists, set up by the Council of Europe in 2015, for which Turkey is leading the rest with 83 media alerts.
A resolution adopted on Tuesday by PACE on the basis of a report by Ukrainian deputy Volodymyr Ariev especially singled out Turkey by describing the situation of media and journalists in Turkey as ‘dramatic’. It called on the Turkish authorities to “release from detention all journalists who have not been indicted for actively participating in terrorist acts”
PACE also urged Turkish government to “review emergency decrees” in so far as they order the seizure of media companies and allow the arrest of writers and media staff.
The arrest warrants issued against some 47 former staff members of the Zaman, one-time largest circulated paper before the government unlawful takeover in March 2016 was also mentioned in the report as an example of media crackdown.
Ariev noted that he submitted written questions to Turkey’s Justice Ministry on Nov. 14, asking to provide answers on how many journalists, writers and publishers currently detained in prison for alleged links to terrorist organizations and how many media companies have been closed or confiscated after the failed coup d’état of 15 July 2016. He said he has not received any response to these questions yet.