More journalists sued and sentenced to prison in Turkey in September
Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) announced that 6 journalists were investigated, 7 were prosecuted, and 6 others were sentenced to 27 years and 3 months in prison in the month of September.
The Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) announced its September 2021 Report on Violations of Rights Against Journalists. The report pointed out that the AKP-MHP government favours “journalists who do not see, hear, write, or report”. It added that even in countries with minimal freedom, journalists have certain civil rights, but it is not possible for journalists to enjoy them in Turkey.
“We know very well that the bill which is scheduled to be debated at the parliament and includes regulations concerning digital media will cause further damage to the country’s press freedom. Journalists and media organizations were rendered unable to practice their profession following the introduction of the previous legal regulations. The new regulations will further clamp down on press freedom,” the report warned.
50 JOURNALISTS PUT ON TRIAL
“Only in September, 50 journalists appeared before the judge for their news and comments. 6 of them were sentenced to 27 years and 3 months in prison. Censorship was the most striking violation in September. The penalties imposed by the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) and the Press Advertisement Agency on the broadcasting organizations revealed how the censorship mechanism works. Moreover, the penalties imposed by the courts on some news portals trampled down rights and freedoms. The 5 access bans against Jinnews, the only female news agency in Turkey, show how grave the situation is. We can also see that websites are not closed directly but blocked off.”
The report emphasized that there are still many journalists in prisons and called for an end to the violations against jailed journalists.
The report stated that the number of journalists jailed in the country as of October 5 is 63. In September, 5 journalists were detained, 1 was arrested, 3 were attacked, journalists were prevented from following events in 15 incidents, 6 journalists were investigated, 7 were prosecuted, 6 were sentenced to 27 years and 3 months in prison. 50 journalists are on trial in 33 separate cases and violations against 2 journalists took place in prison.
The report further said that 3 newspapers received a 100-day advertisement ban, RTÜK imposed 7 penalties on 6 TV channels. 37 websites, 28 of which being news sites, received an access ban and 7 journalists were dismissed.