A court in Istanbul sentenced six journalists to life in prison for their alleged role in a failed coup in 2016.
The state run news agency said that on February 16, Ahmet Altan, his brother Mehmet, Nazli Ilack and Sahin Alpay and two other journalists were sentenced on charges of attempting to “subvert the constitutional order.” (Turkey Telegraph)
According to the court, they supported the failed coup of July 15, 2016 (Al Jazeera).
According to the Guardian, the prosecution alleged that the journalists sent “subliminal messages” through television appearances and newspaper columns that urged the overthrow of the government.
For more than a year, the democratic liberties of demonstration, the press and human rights have been threatened with the arrests of thousands of dissidents, human rights activists, intellectuals and journalists.
Antonella Napoli journalist, coordinator of Free Turkey media today said the rule of law in the country had died (Articulo21).
Amnesty says that at least 160 media outlets had been closed since the crackdown and Turkey now jails more journalists than any other country.
“One third of all imprisoned journalists in the world are being held in Turkish prisons, the vast majority waiting to be brought to trial.”
The head of Amnesty in Tukey, Taner Kilic, has also been detained (AFP) as part of the crackdown.
Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in Reporters Sans Frontiere’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.
The international press was mobilized to request the release of imprisoned journalists. Free Turkey Media, Reporters Sans Frontieres, the #NoBavaglio network, Article 21, the National Federation of the Italian Press, the National Order of Journalists, Amnesty International Italy and the Migrants association, all took to the streets, in Rome, Italy on February 5, during the visit of President Erdogan, to ask for freedom and democracy.
Their petition asks the authorities to immediately release the imprisoned Turkish journalists.