SoE backs call to release journalists in Turkey
31 March 2017
The Society of Editors has backed a campaign by Amnesty International to call for the release of journalists jailed in Turkey.
The human rights organisation has this week urged the UK media to demand media freedom in Turkey and the release of more than 150 journalists jailed following the attempted coup in July 2016 against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Society of Editors, which represents more than 400 editors in national, regional, local and broadcast media and campaigns for press freedom, has backed the campaign and called for the immediate release of the imprisoned reporters.
The Society said: "The deterioration of media freedom and the use of emergency powers to jail journalists in Turkey is deeply worrying at a time when the country requires a free press more than ever.
"180 news outlets have been shut down in the past eight months under laws passed by presidential decree and the Committee to Protect Journalists has stated that Turkey is now the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. This is an accolade unprecedented in Europe and the western world.
"Journalism is not a crime nor should it be treated as such. The Society calls on the Turkish authorities to take steps to immediately release all those held in prison for exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression and ensure that independent news organisations are free to report without fear of intimidation or persecution."
Amnesty is calling on the UK media and the wider public to help publicise the plight of media freedom in Turkey by using the hashtags #freeTurkeymedia and #journalismisnotacrime in social media posts. Appeals to the Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag can also be made online here.
Photo credit: Amnesty International