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June 12, 2021 | |Post a Comment

first_img TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe News Receive email alerts The trial of 29 journalists resumed today in Istanbul after a one-month break. The release of 21 of them, held since last summer, was blocked at the last minute. Indictments are in the process of being issued against dozens of other detained journalists, heralding more mass trials.In the trial that resumed today, the 29 defendants* are alleged to have constituted the “media wing” of the movement led by the US-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, who is accused by the authorities of masterminding the abortive coup attempt in July 2016.They are facing up to ten years in prison on a charge of belonging to an illegal organization. Twenty-four of them have been in pre-trial detention for the past eight to nine months.Release of 21 blocked at the last momentAt the end of the first hearing on 31 March, the court ordered the conditional release of 21 of the journalists but this was blocked a few hours later although family members were already waiting outside the prison to receive them.Instead of being released, they were taken into police custody and then imprisoned again as a result of an appeal by the prosecution and new charges. Thirteen of them are now charged with “trying to overthrow the government and constitutional order.” The three judges who ordered their release were suspended on 3 April. Only Ali Akkuş, the former editor of the daily Zaman, was finally released. He remains subject to judicial control.“Turkey’s justice system stops at nothing to keep journalists in detention although they are accused solely in connection with the articles they wrote,” said Johann Bihr, the head of RSF’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia desk.“This persecution and the lack of any proportion between the alleged actions and the requested sentences highlight the political nature of these trials. We reiterate our call for the immediate release of all journalists who are being held without evidence of a direct, personal involvement in the coup attempt.”Editorial policies and a few tweets on trialThe first hearing, which was observed by RSF’s Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu, was marked by many irregularities. All the journalists denied the accusations brought against them. In essence, the prosecution is accusing them of having worked for media outlets sympathetic to the Gülen movement, including Zaman, Meydan, Bugün, Millet, Haberdar, Habertürk and Samanyolu Haber.Most of the prosecution evidence consists of articles and posts that criticized President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s administration, covered corruption allegations against the government, or criticized the witchhunt targeting Gülen supporters.In the prosecution’s eyes, all these articles were published as a result of a public relations operation orchestrated by the Gülen movement with the aim of destabilizing the government and paving the way for the coup. But there is no evidence of any actual orchestration.The discussion in court has focussed mainly on the political views of the defendants. The columnist Murat Aksoy testified that he initially supported the ruling AKP party’s reformist policies but began to criticize its new foreign policy and its growing conservatism in 2011.“I just wrote in order to contribute to democracy,” Aksoy told the court. “Are you criticizing what I wrote or the media outlets I wrote for?”“If I’d known that we were living in a banana republic, I would not have criticized the president on Twitter,” fellow defendant Atilla Taş said. “I did my military service (…) and I’ve kept a bullet in my leg as a souvenir for the past 25 years. And yet today I am accused of terrorism.”Abdullah Kılıç, HaberTürk TV’s former news director, gave the court examples of editorials in which he supported President Erdoğan and criticized the Gülen movement. Ali Akkuş recalled that he defended Erdoğan when he was imprisoned for reading a poem in 1999.Gökçe Fırat, an editorialist for the weekly Türk Solu and leader of the Ulusal party, pointed to the ideological incompatibility between his left-wing nationalist views and the views of the Gülen movement. Former Zaman reporter Habip Güler pointed out that he took part in protests against the July 2016 coup attempt.Several defendants said they had accounts with the Gülen movement-affiliated bank Asya solely because those accounts had been set up for them to receive their monthly salary deposits.Another spate of indictmentsIn a separate case, the prosecution finally submitted a document to the court on 17 April indicting Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak, three well-known journalists who have been in pre-trial detention since last summer.They are each facing three life sentences on charges of “trying to overthrow the government” because comments they made in a TV studio broadcast on the eve of the coup attempt allegedly contained “insinuations linked to the coup d’état.”The same sentence was requested for 30 former Zaman employees in an indictment issued on 11 April. Twenty-one of them, including Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Turan Alkan and Mümtazer Türköne , have been in pre-trial detention since July 2016. Their trial is due to start in the next few months.Nineteen employees of the daily Cumhuriyet, including 11 who are in pre-trial detention, are facing up to 43 years in prison on charges of belonging to an illegal organization or assisting it. Their trial will open on 24 July.The already disturbing media situation in Turkey, which is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, has become critical under the state of emergency declared in the wake of the July 2016 coup attempt.Around 150 media outlets have been liquidated by decree and more than 100 journalists are currently detained. At least 775 press cards and hundreds of journalists’ passports have been cancelled without any judicial proceedings. And censorship of the Internet and online social networks has reached unprecedented levels. Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit to go further Follow the news on Turkey News Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor RSF_en April 2, 2021 Find out more TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Condemning abuses Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expressionCouncil of Europe News Help by sharing this information *The 29 journalists whose trial resumed today are Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Memiş, Ali Akkuş, Atilla Taş, Bayram Kaya , Bülent Ceyhan, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Davut Aydın, Emre Soncan, Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Habib Güler, Halil İbrahim Balta, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Hüseyin Aydın, Muhammed Sait Kuloğlu, Muhterem Tanık, Murat Aksoy, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Oğuz Usluer, Seyid Kılıç, Ufuk Şanlı, Ünal Tanık, Yakup Çetin, Yetkin Yıldız and Said Sefa (who is on the run). News Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law Organisation April 28, 2021 Find out more April 27, 2017 Trial of 29 Turkish journalists resumes, more mass trials on their way April 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

June 12, 2021 | |Post a Comment

first_img News May 5, 2021 Find out more MexicoAmericas Organisation News April 28, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on Mexico Reporters Without Borders has called for action from top Mexican authorities after the National Human Rights Commission reported serious failings in the investigation into the murder of Indymedia journalist Brad Will, in Oaxaca on 27 October 2006. 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies Help by sharing this information October 2, 2008 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Lid taken off investigation into murder of Brad Will: Reporters Without Borders writes to the Federal Justice Minister to go further Reports MexicoAmericas Receive email alerts RSF_en News May 13, 2021 Find out more NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Reporter murdered in northwestern Mexico’s Sonora state Federal Justice MinisterEduardo Medina Mora IcazaDear Minister,Reporters Without Borders has just learned, as have you, of the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) recommendation 50/2008 on the investigation into the murder of US cameraman Brad Will, of the news agency Indymedia, in Oaxaca, on 27 October 2006 at the height of a very serious political and social crisis (see our previous releases). The conclusions of this report, released on 28 September 2008, are damning for the Oaxaca state and the federal authorities, whose job was to see that light was shed on the case. Apart from the continual impunity, the organisation is scandalised, as was the CNDH, by the unbelievable lack of transparency throughout the investigation that the Will family was in the right to demand. According to the CNDH, the investigations carried out by the judicial authorities of Oaxaca state, then by the federal justice minister, were a whitewash of the alleged perpetrators of the shooting that killed Brad Will. They were however spontaneously identified by numerous witnesses as being members of the personal guard of the state governor, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, who has never been questioned in connection with the case. The post mortem examination and ballistic tests appeared to have been carried out with the aim of removing all suspicion of the local authorities, when the direct witnesses of the killing clearly pointed the finger at them, and to shift the entire responsibility for the death of Brad Will onto the militants of the Popular Assembly of the Oaxaca People (APPO) – which is in open conflict with the governor – which the journalist was following during his reporting. The Oaxaca justice system certified that the murder weapon took 9 mm bullets, which did not match the bullet wounds found on the victim’s body. The federal justice ministry referred to a distance between the gunman and the victim of between 30 and 60 centimetres, then, a little later as between two and 10 metres. The confusion was deepened by an unreliable description of the victim’s injuries and a careless estimate of the time of death. The CNDH pointed up other serious areas of negligence in the handling of evidence and clues (insufficient protection of the crime scene, poor conservation of the victim’s clothes, incomplete witness statements and so on) In its conclusions, the CNDH concluded that Brad Will was hit by two bullets, both from the same gun and fired at his front, from a distance of between 30 and 50 metres, which in fact points to the personal guard of Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.The 50/2008 recommendation was addressed to you, to the governor of Oaxaca state, Ulises Ruiz Ortiz, as well as the president of the Grand Commission of the Oaxaca Congress, Herminio Manuel Cuevas. At a time when Congress is about to adopt, at the request of President Calderón, a bill to federalise all murders and offences against journalists, the time has come for an explanation.After two years of impunity, Reporters Without Borders makes the following recommendations: – That the three addressees of the recommendation make a public explanation about the failures of the investigation before the Congress and representatives of the CNDH, in the presence of the victim’s family.- That action be taken by your services against the administration of the Oaxaca state government so that full light can be shed on the exact circumstances of the death of Brad Will.- That on the basis of the work carried out by the CNDH, the federal justice ministry restarts the investigation from scratch. I trust you will give this your careful consideration and I look forward to your reply.Yours sincerely,Jean-François JulliardSecretary General CC Mr Octavio Alberto Orellana WarcoSpecial prosecuting office for offences against journalistsPublic Prosecutor, Mexico D.F.last_img read more