OSCE’s Désir questions media freedom in Turkey 49 times in 8 months

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OSCE's Harlem Desir

Harlem Désir, representative on freedom of the media for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), has made 13 statements, posted 31 tweets and written five letters to Turkish officials in the last eight months, an OSCE report revealed on Thursday.

In the 65-page “Regular Report to the Permanent Council for the period from 9 November 2017 to 5 July 2018,” Désir underlined that his second report clearly reflects the situation and problems faced by the media in the OSCE region.

“Since my last report in November last year I have made 273 interventions, 371 in total in 40 participating States in the year I have been Representative,” he added.

“Today, in the OSCE region, more than 150 journalists are still in prison. Reporting, even on sensitive issues, expressing critical views, even on governmental policies, investigating, even on corruption cases, should not lead to the imprisonment of a journalist,” said Désir.

“The fight against terrorism, violent extremism and hate speech should also not result in jailing of journalists who have nothing to do with such criminal activities.”

“I have been and will continue to highlight each case of imprisonment, calling on authorities to dismiss charges and respect the independence and work of the media, until each journalist unjustly imprisoned can be released,” the OSCE’s Désir added.

Désir’s statements and tweets about Turkey have mainly focused on the trials of Zaman, Özgür Gündem and Cumhuriyer daily journalists and columnists. The OSCE representative has written five letters to Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu concerning the proceedings.

The full text of the report can be read at http://www.osce.org/representative-on-freedom-of-media/386927?download=true

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