42 journalists in prison in the month of May, says DFG

The DFG said that there were 42 journalists in prison in the month of May.


Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) published the Report on Rights Violations Against Journalists for May 2024. The report stated that 42 journalists were in prison.

The report said: "While the pressure and violations against journalism continue, the government is not satisfied with this and aims to legislate the article called 'influence agent law' with the 9th judicial package. The new law would be a major blow to rights and freedoms and take a toll on press and civil society. Turkey’s governing alliance once again targets free expression and media freedom, this time through a series of amendments to expand the definition of crimes of espionage/spying, and introducing ‘foreign influence agent’ as a new criminal title. As Dicle Fırat Journalists Association, we said that all opposition voices of the society, especially journalists, will be silenced in a country where there is no democracy. We do not accept it. We demand that the bill be withdrawn."

Attack on journalists on 1 May

The report stated that the violations against the freedom of expression of journalists and the press continued in May as well: "Members of the media who followed the workers march to Taksim Square in Istanbul for 1 May, Labor Day were beaten, handcuffed and detained. Violence against journalists took place in Saraçhane, one of the areas where police attacks against workers took place, with the police chief's order to 'get rid of the press'. Our colleagues were injured and their work was prevented in these attacks.”

Obstacles and threats

The report said that there were obstacles against journalists during the attacks on the demonstrations to end the isolation against Kurdish People's Leader Abdullah Öcalan and added: “The police, who attacked the protests, surrounded the journalists to prevent them from covering the harassment. Similar obstruction also took place in the protests that started after the announced decisions of the Kobanê case. During the march from Koşuyolu to Istasyon Square in Amed, journalists were surrounded by shields and prevented from doing their jobs."

The DFG also asked for the release of journalist Süleyman Ahmet, who was detained by units affiliated with the KDP in the Federated Kurdistan Region. He was allowed to see his lawyers after 211 days incommunicado and demanded his release.

The report said that another country sadly known in May for the pressure on Kurdish journalists was the Netherlands and added: "Serdar Karakoç, who was in the newspaper building on the day Özgür Ülke was bombed and is now a journalist in exile, was detained in accordance with instructions by Germany and his detention period was extended for 20 days. We condemn this arrest, which is a continuation of the rulers' attitude towards Kurdish journalists. We demand the immediate release of our colleague Serdar Karakoç.”

Balance sheet of violations

The report said that 2 journalists were attacked, 4 journalists were taken into custody after raids on their houses, 4 journalists were remanded in custody, 4 journalists were subjected to ill-treatment and 3 were threatened, 7 journalists were prevented from following the news and 4 journalists had their rights violated in prisons.

The report also added that an investigation was opened against 10 journalists, a lawsuit was filed against 11 journalists, and a total of 23 years, 2 months and 17 days of imprisonment and a fine of 200 thousand TL were given. In addition, there were 43 journalist files whose trials were still ongoing, while the number of journalists in prison was 42. It was stated that 1 journalist was dismissed, 10 publication were banned, 307 websites closed, and access to 450 news was blocked.