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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.

Blog   |   France, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Turkey

Infographic: Islamic State's assault on the press

When Mosul fell to Islamic State on June, 10, 2014, it sparked one of the biggest attacks on press freedom in recent times. Newspapers were shuttered, TV channels were ransacked, radio stations disappeared from the airwaves, and dozens of journalists vanished. Within days, the militants had a monopoly on information output.

June 8, 2016 9:55 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 5

Police use water cannons to disperse protesters in front of the Istanbul headquarters of the Koza İpek media group after a court ordered it put into trusteeship, October 28, 2015. A columnist for Bugün, one of the group's former holdings, was released on June 10, 2016, after seven months' pre-trial detention. (Mehmet Ali Poyraz/Cihan News Agency/AP)

Provincial officials ask journalists to submit to prior censorship: report
Top officials in southeastern Turkey's Gaziantep province, near the Syrian border, on June 1 convened local journalists to ask them not to report on "the bad things happening in the city," and to submit their stories to a group on the messaging service WhatsApp which would include the governor's press officer, Nurgün Balcıoğlu, Gaziantep correspondent for the pro-government daily Sabah told the news website Bianet today.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 29

Journalists cover their mouths to protest the April 1, 2016, trial of Cumhuriyet journalists in Istanbul. (Emrah Gurel/AP)

Turkish journalists launch solidarity campaign for jailed colleagues
The Free Journalists Association (ÖGC) on Thursday afternoon held a press conference in front of Istanbul's Diyarbakır courthouse to announce a new campaign to show solidarity with their jailed peers. ÖGC co-chairs Nevin Erdemir and Hakkı Boltan read aloud a list of 46 detained journalists whose trials they vowed the organization would follow, relying on volunteer correspondents in 13 provinces of Turkey. The group said it would also make statements every Thursday testifying to their colleagues' innocence.

[June 3, 2016]

Blog   |   Gambia, Iraq, Russia, USA

Global Magnitsky Act could be powerful weapon against impunity in journalist murders

The funeral of Sergei Magnitsky is held in Moscow on November 20, 2009. The lawyer died in state custody after exposing official corruption. (Reuters/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Last week, the proposed Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act emerged from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee with approval. The bill was passed by the Senate last year. If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed into law by the president, it has the potential to offer partial redress to one of the most chilling truths facing journalists today: in 90 percent of cases, the murders of journalists go unpunished.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 22

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Binali Yildirim, the new head of the ruling Justice and Development Party, pose for cameras at the presidential palace in Ankara, May 22, 2016. (Presidential Pool/AP)

Prison sentences for newspaper editors
Istanbul's 13th Court for Serious Crimes sentenced Eren Keskin and Reyhan Çapan, former editor and news editor, respectively, of the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, to three years and nine months in prison each on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda, the newspaper reported today. Both are free, pending appeal. In the past month, dozens of journalists have taken turns symbolically acting as co-editors of the newspaper to protest the government's persistent judicial harassment of the daily and its editors.

[May 27, 2016]

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 15

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks to local officials at the presidential palace in Ankara, May 4, 2016. (Adem Altan/AFP)

Veteran columnist pleads 'not guilty' to charges of insulting Erdoğan
Veteran journalist Hasan Cemal, a columnist for the news website T24 and a founder of the news website P24, today pleaded not guilty to charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at Istanbul's 12th Criminal Court of First Instance, T24 reported.

Blog   |   Hungary

UN review of Hungary shows country 'treats human rights as a public enemy'

Hungary's Prime Minister, Viktor Orbán, talks to the press outside the EU leaders' summit in March. The country's poor press freedom record and policies on asylum seekers have been criticized by the U.N. (AFP/John Thys)

On May 9, a stern review of Hungary's conduct in human rights issues and press freedom was released at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The report, drafted by the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, listed concerns from U.N. member states about the controversial policies of Viktor Orbán's government on asylum seekers and hate speech, as well as the poor state of press freedom.

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