Anti-Terror Law

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 21

Relatives mourn outside a hospital in the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep after a suicide bomb attack killed at least 30 people, August 20, 2016. A court banned all coverage of the attack the following day. (AFP/Ahmed Deeb)

Two editors arraigned on terrorism charges
A duty court at Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse last night arraigned Bilir Kaya and İnan Kızılkaya, editor and news editor of Özgür Gündem, respectively, the pro-Kurdish newspaper reported on its website. A court last week ordered the newspaper to stop publishing and police sealed its offices. A prosecutor interrogated the two at midday yesterday and asked the court to hold them on charges of "being a member of a [terrorist] organization," and "violating the unity of the state." The court discarded the "violating the unity of the state" charge, but upheld the terrorism charge and sent the journalists to Istanbul's Metris Prison, pending trial. Authorities have for years subjected the newspaper and its staff to relentless judicial harassment, accusing it of fomenting separatism and affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the Turkish government classes as a terrorist group.

Statements   |   Turkey

Turkish newspaper closed, journalists detained in police raid

Demonstrators in central Istanbul protest the detention of three people on charges arising from their participation in a show of solidarity with pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem, June 21, 2016. Police on August 16 raided the newspaper's offices and detained at least 21 journalists following a court order temporarily shuttering the newspaper. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

New York, August 16, 2016--Turkish authorities should immediately drop all charges against the country's oldest pro-Kurdish daily newspaper, Özgür Gündem, and its staff, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Following a court order shuttering the newspaper, police in Istanbul today raided Özgür Gündem's office and detained at least 21 journalists, according to news reports.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 7, 2016

Participants in an August 7, 2016, pro-government rally in Istanbul wear masks depicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Police detain 42 employees of state broadcaster
The official Anatolia News Agency reported today that police detained 42 employees of state broadcaster TRT on suspicion of affiliation with the Hizment movement, which the Turkish government alleges orchestrated a July 15 failed military coup. Anatolia did not named the detainees or their positions at TRT but said they include "inspectors" and a "news reader."

Case   |   Egypt

Egyptian photojournalist sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison

A Cairo criminal court on July 18, 2016, sentenced Egyptian freelance photojournalist Belal Darder Mohamed to 15 years in prison in absentia on charges of participating in an unlicensed protest and membership in a terrorist organization, according to press reports. The charges were in connection with his work documenting a December 2014 protest by students loyal to deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi at Cairo's Ain Shams University, the reports said.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 24

In this July 24, 2016, handout photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gives the Rabaa salute, a reference to Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawaya Square, where Egyptian soldiers and police in August 2013 killed hundreds of supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi protesting the military's ousting of the Egyptian president in July 2013. (Pool/AP)

At least 48 journalists detained in one week
Police in Turkey detained at least 48 journalists in the past week, according to the independent news website P24 and the Twitter account of Ben Gazeteciyim, a volunteer association of Turkish journalists formed to show solidarity with their threatened colleagues. At the time of publication, 21 of those detained were at Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse being interrogated by prosecutors and waiting to see a judge. Eren Şener, lawyer for journalists Bülent Mumay and Arda Akın, told the news website Bianet that prosecutors had asked his clients about their activity on Twitter, news stories they had written, and whether they viewed the Hizmet movement, which the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating a failed military coup on July 15 that left more than 200 people dead, as a terrorist organization.

According to P24 and Ben Gazeteciyim, the 21 people at Çağlayan Courthouse at the time of publication were:

Alerts   |   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan suspends TV station's license for Turkey coverage

New York, July 19, 2016 - Azerbaijani regulators should immediately reverse their decision to suspend the license of broadcaster ANS TV, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Broadcasting regulators yesterday said they were suspending the station's license to broadcast for one month because of its coverage of events in Turkey.

Statements   |   Turkey

Turkey releases journalist, press freedom advocate

RSF Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu, shown here at a May 2, 2016, press event in Istanbul, was released from pretrial detention today, following his June 20 arrest for participating in a campaign to show solidarity with embattled, pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem. (Ozan Kose/AFP)

New York, June 30, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's release of Erol Önderoğlu, the Turkey representative of the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Şebnem Korur Fincancı, an academic, columnist, and president of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, and called on Turkish authorities to drop all charges against them.

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.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Reporters Without Borders representative, two others jailed in Turkey

RSF Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu, shown here at a May 2, 2016, press event in Istanbul, was among three people arrested today in connection with their participation in a campaign to show solidarity with embattled Turkish newspaper Özgür Gündem. (Ozan Kose/AFP)

New York, June 20, 2016--Authorities should immediately release and drop all charges against two human rights defenders and a journalist arrested in Istanbul, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A court in Istanbul today ordered Erol Önderoğlu, the Turkey representative of the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and two other people arrested on terrorism charges in connection with articles in embattled newspaper Özgür Gündem.

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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