Following the arrests of several more elected local politicians and journalists in Turkey, the Socialists and Democrats Group (S&D) in the European Parliament on Wednesday expressed serious concerns about freedom of expression and pluralism in the country and called on Turkish authorities not to use the failed military coup d’état as an excuse for attacking the media, journalists and writers.
The European Parliament will on Thursday vote on a resolution setting out these concerns.
“We fully acknowledge the legitimate right of the Turkish government to investigate the heinous coup attempt on 15 July, but at the same time we strongly condemn the massive administrative sanctions taken against journalists, writers and academics,” said S&D MEP and European Parliament rapporteur on Turkey Kati Piri in a written statement.
“We remind the Turkish authorities that the emergency decrees should not be used as a pretext to facilitate serious human-rights violations, to silence dissent and to close down media outlets.” added Piri.
In the statement the S&D Group underlined that human rights and the rule of law in Turkey must be upheld and the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights fully respected.
Together with the Federation of European Journalists, the S&D Group is launching the #FreeThemAll campaign, urging the Turkish government to release the 130 journalists in jail immediately and unconditionally.