The Journalists’ Association of Dicle and Fırat (DFG) released a report and documentary on Monday at a press conference in Diyarbakır (Amed) concerning rights violations targeting journalists in Turkey in 2021.
The report underlined that the rights violations in general increased twofold in Turkey after the declaration of a state of emergency following the military coup attempt in July 2016, and implementations under this emergency regime actually continued in practice despite a supposed return to normal in July 2018.
The report said:
“We are faced with an undeclared state of emergency particularly in the media. The journalists are perceived by officials as dangerous individuals. They are subjected to all sorts of pressure including arrests, threats and attacks. These pressures have recently reached such a level that it’s now almost impossible for a journalist to report from the field. All reporters carrying a camera or a microphone have to encounter countless hardships to be able to carry out their work. The authorities try just about anything to prevent journalists from reporting. No journalist who tends to work outside the rules set by the administration can work safely. These are either forcibly prevented from reporting, or subjected to threats of arrest.”
According to the report, 61 journalists were detained during 2021 with six of them being arrested and charged, bringing the total number of incarcerated journalists to 65 in Turkey.
While 51 journalists were indicted in a single year, the total number of journalists facing court reached 336, out of which 47 were sentenced to a total prison term of 133 years and eight months.
While 55 journalists and two media offices were targeted in physical attacks, two journalists were killed in separate incidents.
23 journalists were subjected to some means of torture or ill treatment.
11 journalists were either subjected to intimidation and threats by state forces or were forced to serve as informants.
103 journalists were forcibly prevented from reporting.
There were 17 cases of violations against journalists in prisons.
While 12 media outlets were fined on 59 occasions by the Turkish media regulator, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), 112 broadcast bans were also issued.
Also, 64 Websites were blocked, 1,460 news articles and 160 social media content were denied access.
The press conference ended with a call by the co-chairs of the association to the Turkish Ministry of Justice to immediately end the hostile treatment against imprisoned journalists and to release them.