Kurdish journalists demand release of their colleagues

Kurdish journalists pointed out the danger of the coronavirus epidemic and demanded the immediate release of journalists and all political prisoners.

Calling on the democratic public opinion, parties, organizations and associations, Kurdish journalists said action for prisoners must be taken before is too late.

Kurdish journalists in Kurdistan and Europe spoke to ANF.

Journalist Yekta Şoreş reminded that no serious measures are taken against the coronavirus epidemic, which poses a great threat for prisoners in Turkish jails. "We do not expect that the Turkish state will take measures for political prisoners and journalists regarding the epidemic. The most important thing at this stage is the immediate action of the Kurdish people and all democratic forces. The public should protect their children in prisons and force the state to take action on this issue. The risk of infection in prisons is growing. Therefore, democratic public, parties, organizations and associations should act together with the people."

New judicial package should include journalists and political prisoners

Underlining the need to free prisoners, Mesopotamian Women Journalists Spokesperson Ayşe Güney said that the new judicial package should include her colleagues. Güney said: "The government is going to release thousands of people who have been tried for sexual crimes and keep journalists who have been jailed for the news they are writing in prison. This can only be explained with the opportunism of the government. Journalists must be released immediately."

Journalist Rêşad Sorgul said that the policy of "political hostages" is a real persecution, especially in these days when the coronavirus epidemic is spreading.

Sorgul said: "All political prisoners, especially our journalist friends, need to be released. Prison gates should be opened by putting pressure on the Turkish state. The danger of a coronavirus outbreak is higher in prisons. Everyone has the right to life. Prisoners must be released."

Gülistan Azak from Jinnews pointed out that the government is not listening the calls of health and legal professional organizations and rights defenders. "We remind the government of its responsibility. In this particular period where the importance of true news is clear, journalists should be covering news with their cameras and pens, not in prisons."

Call on international journalist organisations

Stêrk TV news host Bedran Dere said: "The Turkish state is handing down prison sentences and fines in order to scare our journalist friends. We have no hope in the justice of the Turkish state. We call on international organizations advocating for journalists' rights to raise their voice. We ask them to put pressure on the Turkish state for our journalist friends to be released."

Journalist Bilal Guldem also said that journalists should be released as their life is not protected in Turkish prisons.

Journalist Deniz Ike said: "All journalists and political prisoners should be released. We reiterate once again that journalism is not a crime and say that prisons should be urgently emptied."

Journalists are the ears and eyes of the society

Journalist Zeynel Bulut pointed out that prisons are among the places most at risk of an outbreak of coronavirus. "In hard and difficult situations, the eyes and ears of the people are journalists, but the AKP-MHP government arrests the journalists for reporting the truth. In Turkey, thousands of people have already been infected and dozens have lost their lives. Thousands of political prisoners and journalists in prisons are in danger of contracting the virus. All political prisoners and journalist friends should be released immediately. Especially at a time like this society needs transparent information."

Erdogan and AKP are afraid of journalists who are telling the truth

Journalist Seyit Evren reminded that almost none of the hostage journalists had any other "crime" than reporting. "The aim of these journalists was to inform the society correctly, to tell the truth and to expose the lies. Although some of them were arrested several times, they did not stop writing or telling the truth. For this reason, they were thrown into prisons even without an indictment being prepared. Despite the danger of the virus outbreak, the government is determined to keep journalists in prisons. In fact, the AKP seems to be using this epidemic as an opportunity to get rid of journalists. Erdogan and AKP are afraid of journalists who are telling the truth. As a journalist, I want my journalist friends to be released immediately. Therefore, I invite the whole society to be sensitive and to demand their freedom."

The biggest prison in the world for prisoners

Journalist Vedat Kurşun reminded that Turkey under the AKP has become the biggest prison in the world for journalists. "This shows how frightened the AKP is of journalists. Political prisoners and journalists must be released immediately and unconditionally. We call on people to put pressure on Turkey to ensure the release of journalists."