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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

Restore ECHR to protect Turkey’s journalists, says Institute

The Chartered Institute of Journalists has urged the Turkish government to restore the application of the European Convention of Human Rights and protect the position of the country’s journalists and media workers.

In the wake of the failed military coup against President Erdogan, the CIoJ argues that respect for essential human rights such as freedom of expression (Article 10), right to life (Article 2) and the prohibition of torture and inhuman treatment (Article 3) are the best guarantees of democracy and peace in Turkey.

Institute President Mark Croucher said: “The Institute appreciates that Turkey is undergoing a catastrophic challenge to its democratic institutions. But a free and independent media working in a society where human rights prevail is the way ahead.”

He added: “Mobile journalistic communication broadcast on live television news programmes enabled elected politicians to resist military takeover by speaking to the people. We urge the exercise of mercy, toleration and respect for all human rights in relation to all our fellow journalists and media workers in Turkey.”

Turkey is ranked 151 out of 180 countries in the 2016 World Press Freedom Index. The CIoJ notes with concern that even before the attempted coup, journalist NGOs had complained that President Erdogan had embarked on “an offensive against Turkey’s media”.

The Institute is gravely concerned that the post coup backlash will worsen a situation where journalists have been routinely harassed, accused of “insulting the president”, and where the country’s internet has been systematically censored.