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Press Freedom News and Views

Europe & Central Asia

Blog   |   Belarus, Ukraine

Remembering Pavel Sheremet, IPFA honoree, friend to CPJ, and hard-nosed journalist

Pavel Sheremet, pictured with CPJ's then executive director Ann Cooper, holds up his International Press Freedom Award in 1998. (Reuters)

Pavel Sheremet, who died yesterday when a bomb blew up the car he was driving in Kiev, was a CPJ International Press Freedom awardee in 1998. At the awards ceremony in the glittery Waldorf-Astoria Hotel that November, Sheremet was a no show.

July 21, 2016 3:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 17

Turkey's capital is calm as seen through a broken window at Ankara police headquarters, July 18, 2016, days after soldiers launched a failed attempt at a coup. (Osman Orsal/Reuters)

Police raid and seal Meydan offices

Istanbul police raided the offices of the pro-Hizmet daily Meydan at about 5 p.m yesterday, local press reported. Police searched the offices in the Şirinevler district for three hours and confiscated documents, before sealing the building. The website of Meydan has not been updated since yesterday. The raid comes in the same week that editors at the daily were briefly detained in apparent retaliation to the paper running excerpts of an interview that the exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen gave to the international press, according the paper.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 10

Turkish businessman Aydın Doğan, shown here in a 2009 file photo, on June 13, 2016, denied tax-evasion charges before an Istanbul court. (Murad Sezer/AP)

Prosecutors interrogate journalist on suspicion of 'insulting the president'
Prosecutors in Istanbul yesterday interrogated İhsan Çaralan, a columnist for the socialist daily Evrensel, on charges of "insulting the president" in connection with a May 31 article in the beleaguered, pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, Evrensel reported. Çaralan had symbolically acted as co-editor of Özgür Gündem on May 30 to protest authorities' relentless judicial harassment of the newspaper's staff. Çaralan also faces charges of "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization" in connection with his participation in the solidarity campaign. He denied both charges, Evrensel reported.

[July 15, 2016]

Blog   |   Turkey

CPJ testifies on Turkey's press freedom record before House Foreign Affairs Committee

CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova today provided written testimony at a hearing titled "Turkey's Democratic Decline," given before the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.

July 13, 2016 4:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   Kyrgyzstan

CPJ joins call for Kyrgyzstan to release jailed journalist Azimjon Askarov

On July 11, the Kyrgyzstan Supreme Court will hear a petition for the release of Azimjon Askarov, a journalist and human rights defender who is serving a life sentence in prison. This week, CPJ and Human Rights Watch jointly called on Kyrgyzstan authorities to fully abide by an April 21 ruling by the U.N. Human Rights Committee that Askarov, a recipient of CPJ's International Press Freedom Award, be freed without delay.

July 8, 2016 10:05 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 4

Riot police use water cannons on crowds protesting the takeover of the Koza-İpek Media group in October 2015. An arrest warrant was issued this week for Tarık Toros, a former journalist at the group. (AP/Mehmet Ali Poyraz, Cihan News Agency)

Arrest warrant issued for TV journalist

An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for the Turkish journalist Tarık Toros, according to reports. The pro-government daily, Sabah, reported that Toros was one of more than 30 people against whom arrest warrants were issued as part of a police operation against the alleged terrorist group controlled by Fethullah Gülen. CPJ was unable to determine the charges Toros allegedly faces.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 26

Turkish journalists protest the arrest of their colleagues in Istanbul, June 30, 2016. (Adem Altan/AFP)

Columnist freed pending trial
Istanbul's 14th Court of Serious Crimes today ordered Cumhuriyet columnist Ahmet Nesin released, pending trial, the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem reported. Police on June 20 arrested Nesin, Erol Önderoğlu, Turkey representative for the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Şebnem Korur Fincancı, an academic, columnist and human rights advocate, on incitement and terrorism charges for articles that appeared in Özgür Gündem on the days each symbolically acted as co-editor of the newspaper for a day to protest authorities' judicial harassment of the daily.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 19

Demonstrators protest the June 19 arrest of three people, including the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders' Turkey representative, in central Istanbul, June 21, 2016. (Ozan Kose/AFP)

Court indicts TV journalist on terrorism charges for tweets
The Bakırköy Second Court of Serious Crimes in Istanbul indicted Hamza Aktan, news editor at the pro-Kurdish television station IMC TV, on charges of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization" in connection with nine posts he made to Twitter from 2015 through January 2016, IMC TV reported today.

Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Burundi, Gambia, Turkey

World Refugee Day: Fear of arrest drives journalists into exile

In August 2014 two journalists living more than 4,000 miles apart slipped across a border to find safety: one with his wife and three children, the other alone. Idrak Abbasov, from Azerbaijan, and Sanna Camara, from Gambia, faced imprisonment because of their reporting. Neither has been able to return home.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 12

Turkey's Constitutional Court -- seen here in a December 11, 2009, file photo -- on June 17 rejected journalist Mehmet Baransu's contention that his rights were violated in his March 2015 arrest. (AP)

Constitutional Court rejects journalist's appeal
Turkey's Constitutional Court today ruled that editor Mehmet Baransu's constitutional right to freedom of expression and the constitution's guarantees of press freedom were not contravened in the journalist's March 2015 arrest in connection with in an alleged, elaborate conspiracy codenamed "Sledgehammer." The same court in May 2016 rejected his petition to be released from pre-trial detention, CPJ reported at the time.

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