Turkey: Arrest warrants for 42 journalists a brazen attack on press freedom

Responding to news that Turkish authorities have issued arrest warrants for 42 journalists, Amnesty International issued the following quote:

“This is the latest alarming development in what is increasingly becoming a brazen purge based on political affiliation,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe.

By rounding up journalists the government is failing to make a distinction between criminal acts and legitimate criticism
Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International

“By rounding up journalists the government is failing to make a distinction between criminal acts and legitimate criticism. Rather than stifling press freedom and intimidating journalists into silence it is vital that Turkish authorities allow the media to do their work and end this draconian clampdown on freedom of expression.”

Background

On 24 July, Amnesty International revealed that it has gathered credible evidence that detainees in Turkey are being subjected to beatings and torture, including rape, in official and unofficial detention centres.

Amnesty International also learned that the authorities arbitrarily blocked access to news websites in the days following the coup attempt as well as revoking the licenses of other media houses. Dozens of individual journalists have also had their press cards cancelled.