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EFJ Urges Turkey: Free Jailed Journalists Now
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EFJ Urges Turkey: Free Jailed Journalists
European Federation of Journalists campaigning for
BRUSSELS, Belgium, Journalists currently in
jail in Turkey must be set free immediately, says
the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) if the
movement towards key changes in the country's
constitution is to deliver promises of democracy and
The EFJ has joined its affiliate, the Turkish
Journalists Union (TGS), in a call for the immediate
and unconditional release of more than 40
journalists jailed in Turkey who they say are in
prison for nothing more than doing their job. They
made the call after a majority of Turkish citizens
voted "Yes" to amending the country's constitution
in a referendum earlier this month.
International Federation of Journalists.
"We demand the immediate
release of all journalists whose continued detention
has only served to show the country's intolerance of
real democratic debate," said Arne König, EFJ
President, "The vote for changes on September 12
would open the possibility of genuine change and
modernization. It is prime time for the Government
to show leadership and to end the climate of fear
and intimidation which still surrounds the work of
The Turkish journalists currently in prison are
awaiting trial on charges of violating the Turkish
penal code or anti-terror laws through their work as
journalists. In addition,www.ekurd.netover
700 Turkish journalists are facing law suits, with
the threat of imprisonment.
"These journalists are guilty only of doing their
job honestly and professionally," said König. "It is
unconscionable to be locked up for carrying out
their normal journalistic duties."
The frustration of European journalists is shared by
journalists' leaders inside the country.
"We urge the Government to release the jailed
journalists immediately and reform the country's
legal system to protect journalists' rights to
respect freedom of expression," said Ercan Ipekçi,
TGS President and member of the EFJ Steering
"There can be no free society without free
journalism," he warned, "the Government must put
press freedom at the core of its constitutional
The TGS has already joined forces with 18 other
journalists' organisations to establish the Freedom
for Journalists Platform to monitor issues
concerning the freedom of journalists on 25 August.
A council of law will be set up to review judicial
cases concerning press freedom in Turkey.
The EFJ calls on its member unions and civil society
groups to join the campaign to free jailed Turkish
Please open the link below to sign and send the
e-card to the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr Recep
For more information contact the EFJ at + 32 2 235
The EFJ represents over 250,000 journalists in 34
countries across Europe
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