Sunday, February 26, 2012

Turkey Uses the Law to Repress: CPJ's Report on Attacks on the Press in 2011

Committee to Protect Journalists, an independet, nonprofit organization to promote press freedom worldwide by defending the rights of journalists, recently published a report on the striking numbers of criminal cases currently held against journalists in Turkey . The report is part of their larger agenda of reporting attacks on the press and is penned by Robert Mahoney, who conducted interviews with "[...] more than 20 media executives, journalists, academics, lawyers, and human rights defenders during a 2011 visit to the country." 

"One of the most intimidating statutes, however, remains the 1991 Anti-Terrorism Act (Act 3713), which was prompted by the Kurdish rebellion that began several years earlier. Articles 6 and 7 of the law, the most frequently used against the media, outlaw the publication of statements by terrorist organizations, for example, and provide a one- to five-year prison term for making "propaganda" for such organizations. In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg found that these provisions restricted freedom of expression and contravened Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Turkey is a signatory."