AKEL on the systematic persecution of journalists and activists by the Erdogan government
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 4th June 2020, Nicosia
On the occasion of a recent report submitted on threats to media freedom and journalist’s safety in Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe once again calls on Turkey and Azerbaijan to end their persecution of journalists and comply with the principles of the rule of law, democracy and human rights.
In Turkey in particular, 95 journalists are currently in prison, some for months and others for years without even a trial. There is no doubt that this constitutes a political targeting of journalists who criticize the Turkish government and its policies. In fact, when during the phase of the pandemic the Turkish parliament decided to release approximately 90,000 prisoners to decongest prisons, it excluded those imprisoned on charges of “terrorism”, so that journalists, writers, activists and Mr. Erdogan’s political opponents could not be released.
In addition, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) last month rejected Turkey’s appeal against the ruling that had been announced last December, and in doing so upholding the condemnation of Turkey in the case of activist Osman Kavala. Osman Kavala has been imprisoned for three years by the Erdogan government on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the government, while Turkish government circles accuse him of being a friend of Kurds, Armenians and others.
AKEL, with a series of questions tabled by its MEP Nyiazi Kizilyurek, has already highlighted at the European Parliament level the systematic persecution of journalists and activists by the Erdogan government. Corresponding pressure is being exerted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The Group of the European United Left, in which AKEL participates with its Parliamentary Representative Giorgos Loucaides, has been at the forefront of the efforts to point out the growing authoritarianism imposed by the Turkish government inside the country, which is targeting journalists, democratic freedoms and human rights, the Kurdish population and voices of the opposition.
Cyprus must highlight internationally, both the aggressive policy of the occupying power against our country and the anti-democratic persecution too being waged by the Erdogan government against the citizens of Turkey, the rule of law and human rights.
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