Turkish government detains journalist again 2 days after release

Journalist Tuncer Çetinkaya.

Former Zaman journalist Tuncer Çetinkaya has been taken into custody again two days after he was released from an-eight-month-long imprisonment on Saturday.

Zaman’s former local news representative in the southern province of Antalya, Çetinkaya was put in pre-trial detention on July 27, 2016 as part of the government’s post-coup crackdown against critics.

As of April 1, 2017, Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) 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 92 journalists who are forced to live in exile abroad or remain at large in Turkey. (SCF with turkishminute.com) April 2, 2017

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