European Federation of Journalists

COVID-19: EFJ and IFJ urge Turkish government not to discriminate against political prisoners

Sixteen human rigths and professional organisations urged Turkish Government not to discriminate against political prisoners in its forthcoming early parole bill. The Arrested Lawyers Initiative, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Foundation of Day of the Endangered Lawyers, Freemuse Association, International Association of People’s Lawyers, International Observatory of Human Rights, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Italian Federation for Human Rights, Lawyers for Lawyers, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, Liga voor de Rechten van de Mens, Platform for Peace and Justice, Social Justice Advocacy Campaign, Open Dialogue Foundation, Media and Law Studies Association made a…

Picture credit: Genya Savilov / AFP.

Aseev is free but 122 journalists remain in prison in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the release of Ukrainian journalists Stanislav Aseev and Oleh Halaziuk who suffered a long illegal custody in Donetsk. On Sunday, at a checkpoint near Gorlovka, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine have concluded a long-awaited prisoner exchange of 200 prisoners, including the two journalists who contributed to the Ukrainian service of the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. While welcoming these releases, the EFJ recalls that 122 journalists and media actors remain in prison in Europe: 108 in Turkey; 7 in Russia; 6 in Azerbaijan; 1 in the United Kingdom (Julian Assange, founder and publisher of WikiLeaks,…

177 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly calls for release of imprisoned journalists in Europe. Following the reports from the EFJ national affiliates, 177 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison in Europe: 159 in Turkey; 11 in Azerbaijan; 5 in Russia; 2 in Ukraine. Read the full list, here. In Turkey, a significant number of journalists continued to be detained on charges related to alleged terrorism, while others were convicted in 2018 to heavy imprisonment sentences, including life sentences. No progress has been recorded concerning journalists currently serving behind bars life-imprisonment sentences or very long imprisonment sentences. Another trend consists of…

Turkish court upheld aggravated life sentences for journalists

On 2 October 2018, the Istanbul Court of appeal upheld aggravated life sentences of six suspects, including journalists, over terrorism charges. Nazlı Ilıcak, Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Fevzi Yazıcı, Yakup Şimşek and Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül were convicted for attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, reported Anadolu Agency. All suspects were accused of being linked to FETÖ, the group which is widely believed by Turkish authorities to have orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 that killed 250 people and injured nearly 2,200 others. The journalists had appealed to the high court for their release but the court of appeal upheld their sentence.…

Turkey violated rights of journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on Turkish authorities to release without any delay all journalists wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey after the European Court of Human Rights ruled today against Turkey on applications filed on behalf of Turkish journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan, who were imprisoned following the failed coup attempt in July 2016. The Strasbourg court issued today a decision on the provisional detention of Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay for more than a year and a half. The decision stated that “the investigating authorities had been unable to demonstrate any factual basis” that indicate that both journalists…

Turkey: implement Constitutional Court decision to free journalists

A High Criminal Court of Istanbul has defied a Constitutional Court’s ruling that the rights of journalists Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay to liberty and freedom of expression have been violated and the two journalists should be released from custody. The lower court said the judgment was a “usurpation of authority” and therefore could not be accepted. Initially, the lower courts impacted by the ruling said the detentions would be reviewed after the top court’s reasoned decisions were formally communicated. In turn, the Turkish Constitutional Court then released its judgments and posted notes on social media saying that they are…

41 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison in Europe

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly calls for release of imprisoned journalists in Europe. Following the reports from the national affiliates of the EFJ, 44 journalists will spend New Year’s Eve in prison in Europe: 30 in Turkey, 10 in Azerbaijan and one in Russia. With their affiliates in Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Russia, the EFJ and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are following closely the cases of imprisoned journalists in Europe. All of them are in prison just for having done their job. Together with the Helsinki Commission, the EFJ calls on again the authorities of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Russia to…

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