European Federation of Journalists

Dutch journalist tried in Turkey for alleged terrorism charges

Frederike Geerdink, freelance journalist and correspondent in Turkey, is to appear before the court in Diyarbakir, Turkey on Wednesday 8 April. Early January, Geerdink was arrested and held for a short time. According to the authorities in Turkey, Geerdink is accused of spreading propaganda for the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey.

The Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned the arrest and prosecution of Geerdink saying that the charge against Geerdink is in violation of international law and treaties ratified by the Turkish government on freedom of expression.

Thomas Bruning, General Secretary of NVJ said, “Journalists have the duty to act as a watchdog in a democratic society. Their rights to exercise their duty as journalists to inform the public shall not be hindered by the authorities.”

“We are very concerned about the impact of these measures on the functioning of the press in Turkey, especially the way in which they restrict journalists.”

To support Geerdink, journalist Froukje Santing will attend the lawsuit against Geerdink as an observer on behalf of the NVJ, EFJ and IFJ. Santing works as a correspondent in Turkey for international media for 17 years.

Geerdink is a professional and independent journalist working for the Dutch and English-language media.

For further information, please contact:

Thomas Bruning, NVJ: +31 20 3039-731 / +31 62049 5245

(Picture credit: Frederike Geerdink)