Peoples’ Republican Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu has released a report titled “Crime: Journalism” to mark Working Journalists’ Day on 10 January.According to the report, 808 journalists have been detained under the reign of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and at least 87 journalists have been imprisoned in 2020 alone. The Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) also released a written statement criticising the oppression of journalists.
Working Journalists’ Day is celebrated at a time when those who did not obey the palace were considered criminals, said the report, adding that at least 59 writers and 87 journalists were fined or imprisoned in 2020. At least 90 journalist were detained and at least 21 were subjected to assaults. While 187 journalists had lawsuits filed against them or were indicted for social media posts, 30 were imprisoned for expressing ideas.
2017 worst year for arrests
According to the report, between 2002 and 2020 at least 808 journalist were detained. The year-by-year tally is as follows: 17 journalists were detained in 2002, 15 in 2003, 22 in 2006, nine in 2007, 23 in 2008, 37 in 2009, nine in 2010, 36 in 2011, five in 2012, one in 2013, two in 2014, eight in 2015, 145 in 2016, 206 in 2017, 130 in 2019 and 87 in 2020.
According to Mesopotamia Agency’s report (MA), the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) made a statement on Working Journalists’ Day shedding light on the oppression of journalists: “Whatever the cost, the journalist who struggles to reveal the truth can stand tall”.
According to the DFG’s written statement, hundreds of journalists struggled to work under the oppression of the ruling parties and tens of journalists were isolated from their work by being imprisoned and deprived of their livelihoods.
Referring to the arrest of the Mesopotamia Agency reporter Mehmet Aslan, the statement said, “We should celebrate Working Journalists’ Day, but we have to also condemn the arrest of our journalist friend”.