Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   15 December

OSCE media freedom representative urges Turkey to release imprisoned journalists

YEREVAN, DECEMBER 13, ARMENPRESS. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir repeated his call for Turkey to release imprisoned journalists, the OSCE Office told Armenpress.

“I am deeply concerned about the aggravated life sentences demanded by the prosecution for several journalists, including Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak,” the Representative said, referring to a court decision on 11 December to continue the detention of six defendants in the so-called ‘coup attempt media trial’. The journalists are accused of violating the Constitution and assisting in the preparations of the coup attempt of July 2016.

“Recognizing the serious security concerns faced by Turkey following the 2016 coup attempt, media freedom and freedom of expression are human rights that must be fully protected according to international law. The current state of emergency does not justify the unlimited restrictions on journalists. I urge Turkey, once again, to release all journalists imprisoned in the country”, the Representative said.

He also highlighted the fact that 20 journalists from various media outlets, including Abdullah Kılıç, Habip Güler and Yakup Çetin, have been in jail for over 500 days. They are accused of carrying out media activities on behalf of a terrorist organization.

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