New York, July 29, 2016–Turkish authorities should release and drop all charges against 48 journalists police have detained in the last week, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police have detained at least 48 journalists in the past week as part of a sweeping purge of the media, according to local press reports.
According to the independent news website P24 and Ben Gazeteciyim, a volunteer association of Turkish journalists formed to show solidarity with their colleagues, those detained are among the 88 journalists for whom arrest warrants were issued as part of the reaction to the July 15 military coup attempt that left more than 200 people dead.
Also since July 15, the General Directorate of Press-Publishing Information (BYEGM), the bureau within the prime minister’s office responsible for issuing press credentials, has revoked the credentials of at least 330 journalists, BYEGM Deputy Director Ekrem Okutan announced today, according to press reports.
“The Turkish government must immediately put an end to this witch hunt of the news media,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “We call on the government to release all detained journalists immediately and to cease exploiting the failed coup to purge the press.”
The government claims the targeted journalists and media outlets are linked to the Hizmet movement, which it accuses of orchestrating the failed military coup.