Maat issues a report on freedom of opinion and expression in Turkey

Aqil: 134 journalists are detained in Erdogan's prisons

Sherif Abdel Hamid: Turkey has become the largest prison for journalists in the world

The Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights released today, January 20, 2020, a report entitled “Freedom of opinion and expression in Turkey .. imposing more restrictions”, on the sidelines of the Turkish human rights file being subjected for the third time to evaluation and follow-up before the United Nations Human Rights Council within the framework of the review mechanism Universal League. The report deals with the unprecedented restrictions imposed on freedom of opinion and expression in Turkey, where journalists and various media outlets are subjected to numerous violations at the level of laws and practice, which led to the strangulation of the public sphere, including the freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed by international conventions and treaties, and which may not be restricted in a way that empty it. From the content.

The report indicated that Turkey has not complied with its international obligations to protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression, since the attempted coup on July 15, 2016, it has been leading a fierce campaign against opinion-holders of journalists and human rights defenders as well as the media and has been prosecuting them on charges prepared in advance, under the state of emergency, And anti-terrorism law. To widen the scope of violations against journalists, human rights defenders and the media in Turkey, since then until the end of 2019, 559,064 people were investigated in a way that made Turkey classified as one of the largest prisons in the world. This is in addition to blocking websites, shutting down communications networks, closing civil society organizations and news outlets, and restricting and censoring all social media.

Ayman Aqil, head of the Maat Foundation, confirmed that Turkey has become one of the worst countries in the world in terms of dealing with journalists, and that it occupies the first place in terms of imprisoning journalists in the world, as there are more than 134 journalists detained in Turkish prisons, which made it a late place in the world ranking For freedom of the press worldwide. Aqil added that Turkey is witnessing an unprecedented state of closure and blocking of websites under the pretext of controlling and organizing media content. The independent news site Bayanet and 135 other websites, accounts on social media, and videos circulating on YouTube bearing the term "freedom" were blocked under the pretext of protecting national security.

For his part, Sherif Abdel Hamid, Director of the Research and Studies Unit at the Maat Foundation, affirmed that Turkey has become the largest prison for journalists in the world, as journalists arrested in Turkey represent half of the number of journalists arrested worldwide. Behind the walls of its prisons are some of Turkey's most respected journalists. Abdel Hamid added that since the coup attempt in July 2016, academics, journalists, and writers who criticize the government have faced referrals to criminal investigation, prosecutions, and various forms of intimidation, harassment and constant censorship. Violations also include restricting public freedoms and issuing laws that restrict freedom of opinion and expression, in addition to blocking websites, which contravenes international norms and covenants, especially Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

 

Freedom of opinion and expression in Turkey

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