New York, February 28, 2017–Turkish prosecutors should immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Deniz Yücel, Turkey correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Istanbul’s Ninth Court of Penal Peace last night ordered the journalist, a dual citizen of Turkey and Germany detained since February 14, jailed pending trial on charges of “propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization” and “provoking the people to hatred and animosity,” based on his journalism for Die Welt, according to German and Turkish press reports.
“Deniz Yücel’s only ‘crime’ was practicing journalism, which is no crime at all,” said Nina Ognianova, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator. “We call on Turkish authorities to drop these spurious charges immediately and without condition, and to release him and the dozens of other Turkish journalists behind bars simply for doing their jobs.”
When CPJ conducted its annual census of journalists imprisoned around the world on December 1, 2016, more journalists were jailed in Turkey than in any other country since CPJ began keeping records in 1992.