IPI calls on Turkish authorities to respect press freedom
DOHAThe members of the International Press Institute (IPI) have called on Turkey to end an “escalating crackdown on independent media and dissenting voices that has seen the misuse of anti-terrorism laws to target and imprison journalists reporting on public interest issues.”
They have also wanted an end to “the abuse of criminal defamation laws to silence any criticism of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his policies.”
“IPI members called on authorities in Turkey to obey their oaths to uphold the country’s Constitution and to respect decisions by Turkey’s Constitutional Court upholding human rights, including the recent decision freeing the Cumhuriyet editors. They similarly called on authorities to immediately dismiss the criminal case against those editors and all other journalists targeted as a result of their work, and to free all journalists currently imprisoned for engaging in journalism,” the institution said in a written statement following the IPI World Congress on March 21, 2016 in Doha, Qatar.
“IPI members further called for an end to authorities’ abuse of legal provisions to punish dissent and persecute government critics, particularly the misuse of anti-terrorism and insult/defamation laws, and for authorities to refrain from applying pressure against journalists to influence news coverage,” the stwement added.
IPI also urged Turkey and its people “not to approve any proposed changes to the country’s Constitution that would contravene Turkey’s commitments to uphold press freedom and free expression, or that would in any way abridge citizens’ right to receive the information they need to make informed decisions at the ballot box and ensure accountability by their leaders.”