Feb. 5, 2021
In Turkey, the developments concerning press freedom and journalists’ trials in January 2021 constituted a sort of “handbook for prosecuting journalists”. During the month, at least 43 journalists appeared before a judge in various trials across 10 cities. In other words, two journalists were tried every day.
According to Press In Arrest statistics, at least five journalists were detained, and one journalist was arrested and imprisoned in January. Journalist Melis Alphan was sued for a Newroz celebration message she posted on social media six years ago. Three journalists were interrogated by the police and / or prosecutors under various investigations.
In these trials, six journalists were acquitted, two journalists’ trials were dropped, and two journalists were sentenced to 3 years, 22 days in prison, in total.
Advertisement bans, news access bans, and other attacks on journalists remained on the agenda in January. The details of the report are below:
In January in Turkey, 3 Journalists Summoned to Testify
5 Journalists Detained: One Placed in House Arrest, One in Prison
Aslan was arrested on January 8th, 2021 by Antalya Criminal Court of Peace, for alleged “membership of a terror organization”.
Aslan was placed in Antalya L-Type Closed Prison.
Journalist Alphan Sued for Newroz Message 6 Years On
43 Journalists Appeared Before a Judge
2 Journalists Sentenced to Three Years in Prison
Presenter Nahide Aslan, however, was sentenced to 1 year 6 months in prison for “spreading propaganda for a terror organization in a continuous manner”.
Evrensel Newspaper Deprived of Public Ads
ECHR Rules in the Atilla Taş Case
Turkey is the second worst violator of European Convention of Human Rights in 2020
As in 2017, 2018 and 2019, Turkey became the worst violator of the freedom of expression among Council of Europe member states in 2020, with 31 violations.
Turkey is also the country against which ECHR has issued the highest number of rulings, with 3 thousand 742 rulings between 1959 and 2020. With 3,309 violation rulings, it is the country that violates the Convention most frequently.
Turkey is the worst violator among Council of Europe member states with 953 violations of the right to fair trial, 387 violations of freedom of expression, and 108 violations of freedom of assembly and association.