Turkey’s Jailed Journalists: Life Behind Bars.
In Istanbul on 16 February 2018, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned a Turkish court’s decision to sentence four journalists to life in prison without parole, and called on Turkish authorities to release them without delay. In a separate case, Turkey must scrap charges against another journalist who was today released from custody but simultaneously indicted for terrorism propaganda, CPJ said. A Turkish court handed life sentences to Ahmet Altan, an internationally recognized novelist and former chief editor for the shuttered daily Taraf; Mehmet Altan, an academic, columnist, and TV host, most recently with shuttered outlets Can Erzincan TV and the daily Özgür Düşünce; Nazlı Ilıcak, a veteran journalist, columnist, and TV host, most recently with shuttered outlets Can Erzincan TV and the daily Özgür Düşünce; and Fevzi Yazıcı, former layout editor for the shuttered daily Zaman. The four, who have been jailed since 2016, was found guilty of attempting to topple Turkey’s constitutional order in the failed July 2016 coup attempt through their journalistic activities, according to news reports. The journalists all denied the charges in court, according to media reports. Despite the Turkish top court’s decision in Mehment Altan’s case that stated his arrest had been illegal and ordered he be tried without arrest, lower courts have ignored the decision, CPJ has documented. Turkey is world’s worst jailer of journalists, according to CPJ research.
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