In response to this Monday’s detention of 11 journalists and staff from Cumhuriyet newspaper and the shutting down of 15 media outlets over the weekend, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, John Dalhuisen, said:
Today’s detention of journalists and staff from Turkey’s only remaining mainstream opposition newspaper is part of an ongoing systematic attempt to silence all critical voices. Together with the shutting down of media houses over the weekend, this is the latest wave in a post-coup purge which has turned Turkey’s once vibrant media landscape into a wasteland.The blatant misuse of emergency powers to shut down media houses must stop and more than 130 journalists currently in pre-trial detention must be immediately released.
Journalism is not a crime, yet the principles of free speech and a free press are threatened across the world. Amnesty International seeks the immediate and unconditional release of individuals who have been detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to free speech.
Every year around Human Rights Day on December 10th, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide write letters, emails, text messages, faxes and tweets on behalf of prisoners of conscience, human rights defenders and others at risk of human rights violations as part of Write for Rights.
Among other cases, the 2016 Write for Rights campaign calls for Egypt to drop all charges against photojournalist Shawkan, who was jailed for doing his job while covering a peaceful sit-in. Three years later, he is still held in Cairo’s notorious Tora Prison.