DFG report: 3 journalists detained, 6 others attacked in Turkey in October
According to the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association, at least three journalists were detained and six attacked in Turkey in October. 62 media workers are currently behind bars.
The Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) has released its October 2021 Report on Violations of Rights Against Journalists. The report emphasized that it is unacceptable that journalists still have to practice their profession under a government crackdown.
“In October, journalists faced various obstacles while reporting news. Apart from detentions, they are also exposed to violence. Especially while covering social events, police violence prevents them from doing their job properly. Police officers attack and beat correspondents, confiscate their equipment and deprive them of their freedom,” the report said.
The report stated that it has become routine to prevent journalists from reporting activities, warning, “This approach puts the journalists into a terrible situation. How can a journalist who serves freedom of information get blocked while reporting news? It is necessary to stop arbitrary treatment by law enforcement officers as soon as possible.”
DFG reported continued efforts, especially in the judicial field, to intimidate journalists through investigations and lawsuits. While investigations were launched against several journalists during the past month, new lawsuits were filed against 4 journalists. 58 journalists appeared before a judge and were put on trial. As can be seen in the data of our report, the investigations and lawsuits were introduced to question journalistic activities and to dismiss them.
'GOVERNMENT IS USING JUDICIARY TO TARGET JOURNALISTS'
While the deprivation of freedom of journalists is a serious violation, the violations of rights that our friends face in their work environment manifest the current situation in the country. From time to time, we receive letters from our friends in prison, in which rights abuses are reported. It seems that our colleagues are further punished in prisons. On this occasion, let us state once again that state authorities have no right to deprive any journalist of their liberty. Further punishments inside prisons should be lifted as soon as possible.
The reports that the government and its supporters do not like are quickly censored by the judicial organs. In October, 50 news were blocked, and domain names of 5 websites were closed. Blocking and censorship in digital media are not included in our figures. As can be understood from these practices, the government is very afraid of the truth. The state authorities resort to various means to prevent the news from reaching the public. However, one thing is forgotten; the truth always comes out, sooner or later. One cannot change this fact by blocking and censoring news and putting journalists into prisons. As we conclude our evaluation, we dream of a future where there will be no oppression, rights abuses and censorship against journalists, and we wish to report news through which our pens will herald freedom and justice.”
DETENTION, ATTACK, TRIAL, PENALTY
The report said that the number of journalists jailed in the country was 62 as of November 2. In October, 3 journalists were detained, 6 were attacked, 8 were blocked while covering events, and 8 others were investigated. Furthermore, 4 journalists were prosecuted and 3 journalists were sentenced to 2 years, 6 months, 12 days in prison and received 16,600 TL criminal fines. Trial of 58 journalists resumed, rights of 3 journalists in prison were violated, 2 RTÜK sentences were given to TV channels, 50 reports and 5 news sites were blocked, according to DFG data.