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Turkey: US Secretary of State must call for release of more than 120 journalists

As US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits Turkey to meet with President Erdoğan and others in Ankara today, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe and Central Asia, Gauri van Gulik said:

“During his visit, Secretary of State Tillerson cannot ignore the fact that Turkey is the world’s biggest jailer of journalists. Nor should he overlook the plight of the more than 100,000 public sector employees, dismissed after the coup and the estimated half-a-million people displaced amid military operations and curfews in the south-east.

“He should urge President Erdoğan to release journalists currently being held in pre-trial detention and call for an end to the ongoing crackdown against perceived government critics. Failure to do so sends the wrong message about the need to respect human rights and would be a missed opportunity to remind the Turkish authorities that journalism is not a crime.”

Background

More than 120 journalists have been imprisoned in Turkey awaiting trial following the attempted coup in July last year, which triggered a wide-ranging government crackdown and more than 160 media outlets have been closed down.

Amnesty International and other NGOs are asking journalists around the world to add their voices to the call for the release of journalists from detention in Turkey. For more information about Amnesty International’s action visit https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/action-free-turkey-media/

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