DFG co-chair Serdar Altan sends a message from prison

DFG co-chair Serdar Altan, one of the 16 journalists arrested in Amed, drew attention to the importance of solidarity and said: "It is necessary to be determined to make this rising voice louder. Because solidarity is important."

Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) co-chair Serdar Altan is among the journalists arrested in Amed on 8 June. He sent a letter through his lawyers in which he said that the arrest of journalists was a mise-en-scène. "The editor of this action was the current rulers, the scriptwriter was the law enforcement under the command of the Ministry of Interior, and the prosecutor was the prosecutor who questioned us."

Altan said: “After a long period of unlawful custody, we were thrown into prison after the prosecution and the judge's interrogation, which was actually a mise-en-scène. It is useful to remind that the day we were taken into custody was the anniversary of the murder of journalist Hafız Akdemir, who was killed by dark forces in 1992. The mentality that killed our friend in the middle of the street yesterday is trying to silence us today by putting us in prison.

We are journalists

In fact, as is known by all this public opinion, the government that has thrown us behind four walls also knows that we are journalists and we are here because we defend the people's right to receive information, because we write the truth. If we start from this reality, we can better understand the situation the country is in. There has never been a time when freedom of thought and expression was not repressed. The presence of more than 60 journalists in prisons is clear proof of this, while the fact that 16 more journalists have been added to this is clear proof of how big the problem we are talking about is.”

The letter continued: “At the beginning, we mentioned that our arrest was a mise-en-scène. The editor of this mise-en-scène was the current ruler, the scriptwriter was the law enforcement officer under the command of the Ministry of Interior, and the prosecutor was the prosecutor who questioned us. Here, the interrogation judge, unfortunately, could not go beyond playing the role of an extra. It is very clear that what is wanted to be done is to silence us, to cut us off the field. For this reason, it was journalism, not us, who were put on trial in this file.

We will continue to write

Despite all this, we and all our honourable colleagues who continue to pursue the truth will continue to write, expose, tell and speak out. If they think they can silence us by putting us between four walls, they are mistaken.

On this occasion, we would like to express our thanks to our colleagues, national and international press professional organizations, civil society organizations and our people, who we tried to convey news to, who shouted 'We will not be silent', who did not leave us alone during this 10-day period. Of course, we owe a debt of gratitude to our lawyers who did not leave us alone even for a moment during the detention process and the interrogation process.

It is necessary to make this rising voice louder and to be determined. Because solidarity is important."