Riot police officers stand guard in Diyarbakır, Turkey, on March 21, 2022. A court in Diyarbakır recently rejected an appeal to release more than a dozen journalists held in pretrial detention. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Turkish court rejects request to release 15 journalists from pretrial detention

Istanbul, August 22, 2022 – In response to news reports that a Turkish court in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır rejected appeals to release 15 journalists and one media worker from pretrial detention, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement of condemnation:

“We are deeply disappointed by the court’s decision to reject a bid to release 15 journalists and one media worker from pretrial detention in Diyarbakır,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martinez de la Serna, in New York. “Authorities in Diyarbakır should drop all charges against the members of the media in this case, and Turkish authorities should stop jailing journalists and ensure the press is not targeted in political prosecutions.”

Authorities in Diyarbakır have detained at least 21 journalists and media workers who work for pro-Kurdish outlets since early June, as CPJ has documented. The pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency and other sources reported that, on August 16, the Fifth Diyarbakır Court of First Instance rejected an appeal from the journalists’ lawyers for their release, ruling that the arrests were “just” and “lawful.”

CPJ emailed the Diyarbakır chief prosecutor’s office for comment, but did not receive any reply.