U.S. says Turkey is among worst violators of press freedom

U.S. Department of State spokeswoman, Morgan Ortagus said attacks against the media continued all around the world and Turkey was one of the worst transgressors of press freedom.

"As of December 2018, more than 250 journalists remain jailed around the world, with Turkey, China, and Egypt among the worst offenders," Ortagus said on Nov. 2, marking International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

A delegation, consisting of Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), International Press Institute (IPI), PEN International and Reporters Without Borders (RSF), last month said in meetings with Turkish officials how the press freedom environment in the country had not improved since the lifting of the State of Emergency in July 2018, scores of journalists remained behind bars or under travel bans as a consequence of an extended, politically motivated crackdown against the media.

"In far too many places around the world, journalists are killed, tortured, jailed, and harassed for reporting that exposes the abuses of corrupt regimes, undermines the work of terrorist and criminal organizations, gives voice to overlooked communities, and counters disinformation," Ortagus said.

Turkey is the world’s worst jailer of journalists, with at least 68 in jail in direct relation to their work, according to CPJ's 2018 prison census.