CPJ testifies on Turkey’s press freedom record before House Foreign Affairs Committee

CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova today provided written testimony at a hearing titled “Turkey’s Democratic Decline,” given before the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Ognianova’s testimony focused on Turkey’s crackdown on press freedom and the key methods Turkish authorities employ to censor the opposition and independent press. She also provided examples of how these methods have been put into practice.

Turkey has intensified its repressive actions against the media in recent months, Ognianova said. In an attempt to stifle criticism, authorities have used broadly worded anti-terror laws; brought charges against journalists under an archaic law that carries jail terms for insulting the president; replaced the editorial management of opposition media outlets and fired their staff; routinely imposed bans on the reporting of sensitive stories; and has prosecuted and imprisoned journalists on anti-state charges in retaliation for their work.

“Despite Turkey’s seeming defiance to international criticism of its human rights and press freedom record, the government does take notice of U.S. leaders’ public statements and actions of support, and is in turn moved to act on them,” Ognianova said in the testimony.

A full copy can be viewed here.