Four journalists, Adnan Bilen and Cemil Uğur (who work for the Mesopotamia News Agency) and Şehriban Abi and Nazan Sala (from Jin News) have been imprisoned after they reported on the two villagers who were tortured and thrown from a helicopter by soldiers in Van (Wan).
The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) published a co-written statement about the incident and called on Turkish authorities to release the journalists.
“Turkey is one of the countries with the most imprisoned journalists worldwide”, said the IFJ and EFJ in their statement. “A survey by the Turkish Journalist Union (TGS) from May 2020 found that 85 journalists were imprisoned at that time. New arrests and cases occur regularly. The IFJ has repeatedly called for the release of imprisoned journalists”.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger also underlined that journalistic work is essential to uncover state abuses. “These arrests are another scandalous proof that the Turkish authorities do not tolerate a free press”, said Bellanger. “Adnan Bilen, Cemil Uğur, Şehriban Abi, and Nazan Sala must immediately be released”.
EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez made similiar comments about the MA and Jin News reporters. “The role of journalists as watchdogs of democracy is essential. The arrest of journalists who have just done their job in this context is particularly worrying. We demand their release but also complete clarity about the facts they were covering”.