Journalists protest government crackdown in front of Diyarbakır Courthouse

The Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) and the Mesopotamia Women Journalists Platform (MKGP) made a press statement in front of Diyarbakır Courthouse to protest the prolonged detention of 16 Kurdish journalists.

The Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) and the Mesopotamia Women Journalists Platform (MKGP) made a statement in front of Diyarbakır Courthouse to protest the detention of 16 journalists who were arrested in the city on June 16. Numerous journalists and representatives of non-governmental organizations supported the protest.


“Our friends have been arrested for reporting facts, exposing the lawlessness of the government and being the voice of the oppressed, the youth, women and all those 'marginalized'. Unfortunately, their detention, which has turned into torture and punishment, has been continuing for 5 months,” the statement said.

The statement added that every political party that came to power targeted the free press workers in order to prevent the truth from being revealed to the public.

“Governments have always targeted free press workers, detained, arrested, murdered them and bombed their offices... Despite all these attacks, free press workers have never stepped back. The AKP, which came to power promoting democracy, human rights and a civil constitution, also attacked the free press with well-known methods. After the arrest of our 16 colleagues on June 16, 10 more journalists were arrested in a new operation on October 25. Moreover, our offices were raided, and all our materials were confiscated in a way reminiscent of crackdowns in the notorious 1990s, 2011 and 2016.”

Journalists criticized the fact that the investigation against 16 journalists has not been completed so far, saying, “The judicial authorities that act quickly on murderers, drug lords, perpetrators of crimes against humanity, rapists, have made no progress for 5 months to prepare an investigation for our colleagues! We know very well the reason for this. Because if an indictment is prepared, it will be revealed that our friends’ only crime is journalism, and that they were arrested due to their professional activities. It will be revealed how the detentions and arrests are baseless. It will be revealed that journalists’ cameras, which are defined as 'organizational materials' in police reports, are used to report facts. This is exactly why our friends have been detained for 5 months and their indictment has not been prepared yet.”


“We want to make it clear that the work of those journalists arrested during the June 8 and October 25 operations is not left unfinished. The Free Press has resisted and will continue to resist in defiance of detentions and arrests. Because the tradition of free press has been created by the people. The judicial authorities should not be a mere spectator to the government crackdown; they should ensure the physical freedom of our friends. They should stop being a partner to this shame that has turned into a punishment,” the statement concluded.