#FreeTurkeyMedia Protests Detention of 120 Journalists

Published May 4th, 2017 - 03:37 GMT
Placard reads "journalism is not a crime" at concert in Berlin on International Press Freedom Day (John Macdougall/AFP)
Placard reads "journalism is not a crime" at concert in Berlin on International Press Freedom Day (John Macdougall/AFP)

In the week which marked Press Freedom Day, Amnesty International’s #FreeTurkeyMedia campaign has taken off online.

With more than 120 members of the press imprisoned in Erdogan’s Turkey, it is the number one jailer of journalists worldwide. A third of those detained worldwide are held in Turkish jails.

Added to that, 156 media outlets have been shut down since last July’s failed coup, including nearly all Kurdish newspapers and television/radio stations. And just this week, Turkey blocked the online encyclopedia Wikipedia “until it removes false content”, in its latest attempt to restrict online freedoms.

It is in this context that the rights organization has called upon activists to share selfies with the hashtag #FreeTurkeyMedia attached. This, in solidarity with the prisoners, many of whom are held without trial and denied access to legal assistance.

Here are just a few of the examples of how the campaign is spreading internationally.

In Germany:

In Italy:

In the UK:

And in Denmark:

Cartoonists have also contributed to the campaign:

The movement has already achieved a major success, with Italian journalist Gabriele del Grande freed on April 24. The 34-year-old had gone on hunger strike a week before in protest at his imprisonment in the south of the country. 

Over 250,000 people have so far signed a petition for the journalists' release. Still, with so many journalists still in Turkish jails, the fight for media freedom continues.

RA 


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