On the 100th day of the detention of journalist Ahmet Şık, journalists and deputies on Sunday walked in İstanbul for the release of all jailed journalists in Turkey.
Şık was arrested on Dec. 30, 2016 on charges of disseminating the propaganda of terrorist organizations.
The “100 Step Walk” down Istanbul’s İstiklal Street was participated in by main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) members as well as media organization representatives and journalists, who chanted “Free media can not be silenced” and “Down with despotism! Long live freedom!”
Twenty-one journalists who had been in pre-trial detention for eight months and were to be released pending trial on March 31 were arrested again early on April 1 without ever having been freed.
As of April 1, 2017, Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), a Stockholm-based monitoring and rights advocacy group, has confirmed that 228 journalists and media workers are behind bars in Turkey, a new world record by any measure. Of these journalists, 194 are arrested pending trial and without a conviction. 13 jailed journalists have been re-detained just after they were released by an İstanbul court on March 31, 2017. Most of the journalists do not even know what the charges are or what evidence, if any, the government has because the indictments were not filed yet.
The Turkish government is apparently using arbitrary arrests as part of intimidation campaign to suppress critical coverage, muzzle independent media and silence journalists. Only 21 journalists who are in jail were convicted while the rest are in abusive and long pre-trial detentions. Moreover, sweeping detention warrants have been issued for at least 100 journalists who are forced to live in exile abroad or remain at large in Turkey. (SCF with turkishminute.com) April 9, 2017