New York, March 21, 2022 – Swedish authorities should conduct a swift and thorough investigation into the recent attack on journalist Ahmet Dönmez and determine if he was targeted for his work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said on Monday.
On Saturday, March 19, in Stockholm, unidentified people hit Dönmez’s car from behind and, when he got out of his vehicle, proceeded to beat him up, according to news reports and tweets by the journalist.
Dönmez was driving his six-year-old daughter home from school at the time of the attack, according to those reports, which said he sustained head trauma and was hospitalized in stable condition.
Dönmez publishes reporting on Turkish politics and alleged corruption, as well as political commentary, on his personal website, Twitter, and YouTube pages; he has about 147,000 followers on Twitter and about 55,000 on YouTube.
“Swedish authorities must swiftly and thoroughly investigate the recent attack on exiled Turkish journalist Ahmet Dönmez, determine if it was related to his reporting, and bring all those involved to account,” said Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator. “Swedish authorities must provide security for Dönmez and ensure that he can live and work without fearing for his or his family’s safety.”
Dönmez worked as a reporter for the Turkish daily Zaman until 2015, when he fled to Sweden “because of political pressure” according to his website. Turkish authorities shuttered Zaman in 2016, and have accused its staff of having ties to the Fethullah Gülen religious movement, which authorities have labeled a terrorist organization, as CPJ has documented.
CPJ emailed the Swedish police for comment but did not immediately receive any reply.