Turkey: Activists and journalists charged with terrorism

Three Turkish human rights activists and journalists, Şebnem Korur Fincancı (President of Turkey Human Rights Foundation), Erol Önderoğlu (journalist at Bianet and RSF Turkey correspondent) and Ahmet Nesin (journalist and author) were detained today on charges of “terrorist propaganda”.

They were temporary editors-in-chief of the Kurdish daily news website, Özgür Gündem, as part of a campaign, launched on 3 May 2016 for World Press Freedom Day, in which 44 journalists and human rights activists are demonstrating solidarity with the Kurdish news site, by volunteering to be editor-in-chief of the paper for one day each. So far, 37 of those participating in the campaign have had criminal investigations opened against them.

These illegal detentions, on unfounded charges, are not only an unacceptable restriction of the rights of these human rights defenders and journalists, but also constitute a punishment for a legitimate act of protest against the crackdown on press freedoms in Turkey.

ARTICLE 19 condemns the arrests of Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Erol Önderoğlu and Ahmet Nesin, and calls for their immediate and unconditional release.