5 Journalists were arrested in Van in 40 days

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  • 11:31 1 December 2020
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VAN - 5 journalists were arrested in Van in the last 40 days. Representatives of political parties and non-governmental organizations in the city stated that they were trying to "discipline" the free press with the arrests.

In Van where the ban on activities and demonstrations have been banned for the last for years, following the termination of the state of emergency, journalists have too got their share from the oppression on the opposition political parties and non governmental organizations. Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reporters Adnan Bilen and Cemil Uğur, Jinnews reporter Şehriban Abi and journalist Nazan Sala were arrested on October 9 because they broke the story about Osman Şiban and Servet Turgut, two villagers, detained by the soldiers and thrown from a military helicopter.
On November 24, oyur reporter Dindar Karataş who is also from the Van office, were detained with a raid on his home and was arrested because of the news he made.
The equipments used for journalism was confiscated in searches carried out in our office in both operations.
Political party and NGO representatives in the city, which has been affected by the state of emergency practices, evaluated these arrests of journalists.
Menice Gülmez, Deputy Chairman of the Human and Freedom Party (PIA), stated that each government wants to put the press into a certain mold. Saying that the arrests of journalists is against democracy and human rights Gülmez said, “It is a ruthless to arrest journalists who do not think like them. It is unacceptable to arrest journalists.
Stating that MA reporters who brings the violations of rights to the agenda, are being targeted and their arrests are discriminatory, Gülmez said: "Their subjection to constant detentions and arrests is nothing more than an effort to prevent the people of Van from seeing the truth. There can be no justification for the arrest of press workers."
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Van Provincial Co-chair Ökkeş Kava, who stated that there is a political pressure on the press, said, “The press is the eyes and the voice of the society. When something happens, the public learns what happened through the press. When an unlawful incident occurs, the press exposes it. AKP and MHP bloc do not want the public to see the lawlessness.”
Emphasizing that the free press is the follower of the truth, Kava said: "Only the free press brought the latest torture to light. That's why they want to shut down the free press. 5 free press workers were arrested in Van. There is only one reason for this; It is the reporting of the citizens thrown from the helicopter. The world saw what happened when these journalists wrote about it. This is the reason for their hatred and grudge against them."
The Future Party Van Provincial Chairman Abdulhekim Karabıyık stated that they did not approve of the arrest of journalists solely because of their thoughts.
Noting that the freer the journalists write, the more democratic this country will be, Karabıyık said: "These arrests are a result of the people's distrust to the power. Journalists are the eyes, the voice and the mirror of the people. It is not possible to speak about democracy in a country when you arrest journalist who write about the thoughts and expectations of the people. We demand that all journalists arrested for their thoughts, both locally and internationally, to be released immediately. Let thoughts be free in Turkey."
Human's Rights Association (İHD) Van Branch Chair Murat Melet reacted to the arrests, saying that Turkey has become an 'open prison' for journalists. Emphasizing that Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalist in the world, told that he wakes up every day to find out another journalist was arrested.
Stating that they are trying to 'discipline' the free press, Melet said: "MA is an agency trying to make the news of what is actually happening in Turkey. I would like to mention that, as disturbing as it is, the government is targeting MA reporters because of that. This is a special policy against MA. If journalists or news agencies cannot write their news freely and their pens are not free in a country, we cannot talk about human rights, democracy and freedom in that country. "
MA / Baris Donmez - Ozlem Yayan

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