A YouTube screenshot of Turkish journalist Nedim Türfent who has been imprisoned for 2,000 days as of November 3, 2021. (YouTube/PEN International)

CPJ, other groups call on Turkey to release imprisoned journalist Nedim Türfent

CPJ joined PEN International, the International Press Institute, the Media and Law Studies Association, and 50 other Turkish and international groups in a statement today calling for Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally release imprisoned journalist Nedim Türfent, a former reporter for the shuttered pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA) on the 2,000th day of his incarceration.

Police detained Türfent in the eastern province of Van on May 12, 2016 and a court jailed him pending trial in Hakkari prison the following day. According to court documents CPJ reviewed, Türfent told the court that he was “subjected to inhumane treatment and torture” while detained.

On December 15, 2017, a court in the southeastern city of Hakkari found Türfent guilty of “being a member of a [terrorist] organization,” and sentenced him to eight years and nine months in prison even though all but one of the initial prosecution witnesses recanted their testimony against the journalist because they said police had extracted their statements under duress, according to CPJ research.

The journalist’s case was taken to the Constitutional Court of Turkey in 2018 and the European Court of Human Rights in 2019; both cases are still pending before those courts, the statement said.

The full text of the statement is here.