The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has joined 14 press freedom organisations and 47 members of the European Parliament to call for an end to Turkey’s crackdown on press and the mass imprisonment of journalists.
The proposed resolution, which underscores the lack of effective domestic legal remedies for journalists targeted, follows a roundtable held under Chatham House Rules at the European Parliament.
The roundtable examined the lack of independence and impartiality of Turkey’s judiciary and the failure of Europe-wide institutions to acknowledge the Turkish court system’s inability to provide effective remedy for rights violations.
International Press Institute (IPI) Turkey Advocacy Coordinator Caroline Stockford said: “This resolution, which is supported by numerous MEPs and which highlights the severe challenges that Turkey’s journalists face in exercising and defending their basic rights, comes at a crucial time. We invite Turkey to act upon these recommendations so as to restore press freedom and respect the principles of freedom of expression”
Turkey has the highest number of imprisoned journalists in the world: according to research conducted by the IPI, 155 journalists and media executives were behind bars in Turkey as of 29 January 2019.
In CPJ’s latest consensus, there have been 25 journalists killed in turkey between 1992 and 2019, 22 of which have been confirmed to be murders.
The resolution recommends that Turkey must fulfil its obligations under national and international law to protect journalists’ rights to liberty and security, freedom of expression, right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. They also call that all journalists who can provide journalistic evidence cited as proof of their criminal activity, imprisoned on unsubstantiated allegations or as a result of their work, be released from prison.
It also calls on European Union institutions to reinforce the recommendations in discussions with Turkish ministers.