Press group to send international delegation to Turkey representative’s trial
International press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is to send a multinational delegation to attend the trials of press workers in Turkey next week – including that of its own Turkey representative, the group said.
"The charges against these journalists and free speech activists are absurd and disgraceful, and show that journalism is simply being criminalized in Turkey," RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire said.
"We won't stop saying this until they are rendered justice: we demand the withdrawal of these proceedings, the restoration of pluralism and the release of all journalists who are in prison because of their journalistic activities."
Erol Önderoğlu, who has been RSF's Turkey representative for more than 20 years, is among three journalists being tried next week for taking part in a solidarity demonstration with the pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem. A total of 41 people are being prosecuted for their involvement in the action, in which they took turns to edit the paper – closed down in August 2016 – for a day, RSF said.
The delegation will also attend the trial of Cumhuriyet journalists who face up to 43 years in prison on charges of defending terrorist groups in their reporting.