Impunity for attacks on media should end: IPI Turkey
VIENNA / ISTANBULThe Vienna-based International Press Institute (IPI) has condemned a second physical attack in less than 48 hours targeting daily Hürriyet’s HQ in Istanbul, as well as an attack on daily Sabah, with the group’s national committee calling for an “end to impunity.”
“The repeated attacks on media outlets by violent mobs clearly demonstrates the principle that impunity breeds more violence,” IPI Director of Advocacy and Communications Steven M. Ellis said in a written statement on Sept. 10.
Several suspects who were taken into custody in connection to the attack on Hürriyet were subsequently released.
The IPI also condemned the incident in which a separate group of demonstrators pelted the combined offices of pro-government daily Sabah and broadcaster ATV with stones and water bottles, and tried to enter the building in Istanbul.
“We urge authorities not only to condemn these attacks, but to take concrete action to hold the perpetrators accountable and show that they will not be tolerated,” Ellis said.
The IPI’s Turkish National Committee, meanwhile, also condemned a death threat delivered by daily Star columnist Cem Küçük targeting Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan.
“If an attack on the largest media group of a country remains unpunished and faced with silence, then it becomes a symbol and it may lead to the silencing of the media by those who use violence,” the statement said.
“First of all, the government is responsible for stopping this dangerous escalation, eliminating the threats against democracy and ending the continued impunity,” it added, calling for “urgent and deterrent sanctions” against those who assault media outlets.