Call for release of staff following police raid on newspaper’s offices in Turkey

March 30, 2018 Europe , HUMAN RIGHTS , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

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OSCE

 

 

The closure of the Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper and appointing a trustee to head it is a major attack on the independence of this media outlet and another setback to media pluralism in Turkey, said Harlem Désir, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, following Wednesday’s police raid on the newspaper’s office.

 

On 28 March the central office of the Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper and its printing house in Istanbul were raided by the police. Officials from the Saving Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) informed the paper’s attorneys that a trustee was appointed to head the newspaper and its printing house. Twenty-one have been taken into custody and reportedly all face terrorism charges.

 

The Representative addressed the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlüt Çavusoglu regarding his concerns over the raid on the newspaper’s offices.

 

“I insist that journalists should not be accused of terrorism for their journalistic activities,” Désir said. “I therefore call for the release of the detained staff of the media outlet and of the printing house, the dismissal of the charges against them, and for the respect of the independence of the Özgürlükçü Demokrasi newspaper.”

 

“I remain convinced that a pluralistic media environment, protective of freedom of expression, does not weaken but contributes to the strength of a society facing security challenges,” he added.

 

 

 

 

OSCE

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has a comprehensive approach to security that encompasses politico-military, economic and environmental, and human aspects. It therefore addresses a wide range of security-related concerns, including arms control, confidence- and security-building measures, human rights, national minorities, democratization, policing strategies, counter-terrorism and economic and environmental activities. All 57 participating States enjoy equal status, and decisions are taken by consensus on a politically, but not legally binding basis.

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