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International organisations condemn crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey

A delegation of international civil society organisations visited Istanbul to demonstrate solidarity with writers, journalists and media outlets in Turkey.

The failed coup of 15 July, in which at least 265 people were killed, has traumatised the Turkish population and the government must bring those responsible for the violence to account. However, this must be done on the basis of specific, individual evidence of involvement in a crime and with full respect for international standards on the right to freedom of expression, the right to liberty and security and the right to a fair trial, to which Turkey has committed as a member of the Council of Europe.

The delegation condemns the Turkish authorities’ abuse of the state of emergency to suppress diversity and dissent, and calls upon the government to immediately and unconditionally release all journalists detained in Turkey without evidence and to cease its harassment of the few remaining independent and opposition media outlets.

The state of emergency must not be abused to suppress freedom of expression.

The mission led by ARTICLE 19, included representatives from Danish PEN, the European Federation of Journalists, German PEN, Index on Censorship, My Media, the Norwegian Press Association, the Norwegian Union of Journalists, Norwegian PEN, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders and Wales PEN Cymru. The representatives were in Turkey from 31 August to 2 September.

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