63 Journalists are Entering the Eid el Fitr Celebrations in Prison: Long Term Arrests are Transforming into Heavy Prison Sentences

The Turkish Union of Journalists released a perturbing call out yesterday, 7th August 2013, asserting that Turkey has become the world’s largest journalist prison.

The union reports that whilst 63 journalists have been imprisoned 120 are being prosecuted with the threat of being incarcerated. These include Baha Okar and Mehmet Yeṣiltepe who are facing possible imprisonment of 3-6 years from alleged membership to “political organisations” and, the 22 journalists who face sentences linked to the Ergenekon trials on the allegation of once again “membership to political organisations” and attempts to overthrow the government.

The Union adds that the courts’ prevention of the suspects’ family and friends entering the trials as well as inhibiting journalists watching the trials unless they are in possession of ‘the yellow pass’ despite having other press IDs including internationally recognised news agencies is completely arbitrary and not legal.

For full press-release in Turkish see: http://www.tgs.org.tr/

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