Images of journalists arrested

Turkey: Arrested for reporting torture

As part of the MFRR, ECPMF calls for the release of four journalists of pro-Kurdish news agency Mezopotamya Ajansı after a police raid in the Turkish province of Van

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), as part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), is highly concerned by the arrest of four journalists during a raid on the offices of the pro-Kurdish news agency Mezopotamya Ajansı (MA) in the Turkish province of Van. This was in response to their role in reporting on allegations that Turkish soldiers tortured two civilians, Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut, and threw them out of a helicopter. Turgut later died in hospital.

The arrest and detention of journalists and media workers based on their reporting on a matter that is so evidently of public interest violate not only the rights to liberty and freedom of expression of the reporters themselves and also the right to information of the general public. Accordingly, ECPMF calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Adnan Bilen, Cemil Uğur, Şehriban Abi and Nazan Sala. The authorities’ assertion that they are not journalists because they do not have a press card issued by the Presidency is not valid. We recall that holding a press card or official authorisation is not compulsory for the exercise of the profession of journalism. We also demand that all journalistic materials and equipment are returned to the journalists and the authorities commit to deleting all copies of data they have extracted from these devices.

Nik Williams