Turkish Journalists Association’s report shows some 123 Turkish journalists in exile

Because of the despotic Erdoğan regime’s persecution targeting independent journalists in Turkey, “some 123 Turkish journalists are in exile,” according to a recent report released by the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC).

Cumhuriyet daily reported on Friday that TGC’s report titled ‘The Freedom of Expression and Press’ has indicated that 46 new investigations were launched and 20 additional cases were filed against journalists in the first four months of 2017 while 159 journalists were in jail as of the end of April.

“In the past four months, Turkey continued to be the world leader with the number of journalists in jail,” the report said, adding that in nearly all of the cases regarding journalists, demands for trial without arrest had been rejected.

The TGC said “it’s inevitable” to come across harsh criticism regarding press freedom in international reports, while asking for all journalists to be released, tried without arrest and acquitted.

Saying that it was “impossible” for journalists to fulfill their duties properly, thus violating the people’s right to obtain information, the association said the problems that journalists face include limitations on freedom of expression and the press, obstructions preventing journalists from freely conducting their work because of political and economic pressures, as well as hindrances that ensure journalists who use their right to criticize or refuse to report news from a certain political perspective cannot find work.

“The shutting down of newspapers, magazines, agencies, internet news websites, publishing and printing houses and associations and foundations were not developments acceptable in terms of international human rights and concepts of law,” TGC said.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world with one third of arrested journalists across the globe being held in Turkish jails. In contrary to TGC’s figures Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 240 journalists now in jails as of May 18, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 218 are arrested pending trial, only 22 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons.

An outstanding detention warrants remain for 104 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 coup attempt.

May 19, 2017

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