Alarming rise of Journalists Arrests in Turkey


Alarming rise of Journalists Arrests in Turkey
Asli Erdogan (photo: S. Ligtenberg)

I had previously written to you about the alarming rise in the number of arrests and custodies of journalists within the last months, along with shutting down of radios and papers, threats of all sorts. Twenty four journalists have been arrested between September and November 9th, working for the left wing and 'kurdish' press. They have been charged with the new 'anti terror' law, that allows almost all politicized views to be punished by very heavy sentences. I have been trying to warn that 301, that ridiculous 'anti Turkishness' article is indeed very light in comparison to the threats the new anti-terror law poses for democracy and freedom of thought. The attached file includes the list of Turkish intellectuals who has signed the petition in solidarity with the arrested journalists. Unfortunately, the first hearing which took on Friday, April 13th, the police heavily beat the people who had gathered in front of the court for solidarity with the journalists on trial, in front of the representatives of domestic and foreign press (some seriously injured) and representatives of law and justice.114 people were taken under custody, resulting in 20 new arrests. Today, a group opened a case against police for brutal action and unnecessary use of violence. (To say it in my own casual words, it was very brutal, very bloody. A bunch of Turkish writers beaten up, 40 left wing journalists arrested ,etc perhaps doesn’t seem so important to you in comparison with the heated developments in Turkey's or Middle Eastern politics, but I still hope you will not your spare your solidarity that do need it, that are really paying the heavy price: Years and years in prison is no joke, not even truncheons and tear gas. (26/04/2007)

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