Turkey: Crackdown on journalists
Expression Interrupted said that 213 journalists have been tried in 4 months and 20 journalists have been sentenced to 57 years and 10 months in prison in Turkey.
Expression Interrupted monitors the legal process concerning journalists and academics who have been investigated and prosecuted in Turkey. The organisation has now published its Report on the Freedom of Expression and Press. According to the report, 213 journalists have been tried in the first four months of 2021 and 20 journalists have been sentenced to 57 years and 10 months in prison. The report added that new investigations have been launched against at least 14 journalists.
The report underlined that, in 2020, Turkey was the country that most violated Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights regulating freedom of expression according to the statistics of the European Court of Human Rights. The report added that according to the 2021 Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders Turkey ranked 153rd.
The report pointed out that the number of journalists in prison in Turkey fell below 70 for the first time since 2016.
Violations of rights
The report listed sentences given to the journalists as follows:
"* In January, February, March and April, a total of 213 journalists appeared before the judge in at least one lawsuit against them.
* The number of ongoing cases in which journalists have been tried as defendants was at least 107, and new cases were launched against at least 16 journalists.
* 20 journalists were sentenced to 57 years and 10 months in prison on various charges.
* Eren Keskin, Inan Kızılkaya, Zana (Bilir) Kaya and Kemal Sancılı, former administrators of Özgür Gündem newspaper, which was closed by a government decree, were sentenced to 21 years.
* At least 9 journalists were physically attacked in the first four months of 2021.
* At least 20 journalists were taken into custody at least once in the first four months of 2021, and one journalist was remanded in custody. 14 journalists testified in new investigations against them."