On 22 June 2016, our colleagues Reporters Without Borders delivered the following joint oral statement at the UNHRC regarding the recent arrests of Erol Önderoğlu, Ahmet Nesin and Sebnem Korur Fincancɪ
Reporters Without Borders is stunned by the arrest of its representative in Turkey, Erol Önderoğlu, placed in pre-trial detention by an Istanbul court on 20th June 2016, along with two of his colleagues.
Erol Önderoğlu, Ahmet Nesin and Sebnem Korur Fincancɪ are accused of ‘terrorist propaganda’ for having taken part in a solidarity campaign with the Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem. Along with fourty other intellectuals, they had been taking turns to symbolically assume the role of the newspaper’s editor who is the target of numerous prosecutions.
After being questioned by a prosecutor on June 20th, Önderoğlu and his two colleagues were immediately referred to an Istanbul judge, who ordered they be placed in pre-trial detention.
Erol Önderoğlu is being prosecuted on the basis of three articles published by Özgür Gündem on 18 May about power struggles within the various Turkish security forces and the ongoing operations against Kurdish rebels in south-eastern Anatolia.
RSF’s representative in Turkey since 1996, Önderoğlu compiles reports on the state of freedom of expression in Turkey for the Bianet news website. He is a member of the board of IFEX (the International Freedom of Expression Exchange) and often works with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and several other international organizations.
RSF demands the immediate and unconditional release of its representative and his two colleagues. The organisation calls for the withdrawal of all charges against him and other participants of this solidarity campaign.
Co-sponsors: PEN International, Article 19, International Federation of Journalists, European Federation of Journalists, International Press Institute
Supported by a further 25 non-ECOSOC NGOs:
Committee to Protect Journalists
Ethical Journalism Network
European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
Index on Censorship
Global Editors Network
Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS)
PEN Czech Republic
PEN San Miguel, Mexico
PEN South Africa