Turkey: Fatma Koçak released but 22 others remain detained in KCK ‘Press Wing’ trial

English PEN joins PEN International in welcoming the release pending trial of Dicle News Agency editor Fatma Koçak. However, we remain concerned by the continuing detention of 22 journalists being tried as part of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) ‘Press Wing’. The trial, which implicates 46 journalists in total (24 of whom have been released pending trial) as belonging to the urban limb of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been widely described by observers as a crackdown on the Kurdish and pro-Kurdish press in Turkey. PEN calls for the immediate release of all 22 detained journalists pending completion of their trial, and the dropping of all charges against anyone accused of involvement in the KCK ‘Press Wing’ which relate solely to their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association.

For background information, please visit the PEN International website.

TAKE ACTION:

Please send appeals:

  • Expressing alarm at the continued detention of 22 journalists and the excessive length of the trial process;
  • Calling for their immediate release pending completion of their trial;
  • Expressing concern that some or all of the 46 journalists are being prosecuted solely for activities which relate to their legitimate, peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association, as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, to which Turkey is a state party.

Appeals to:

Minister of Justice
Mr Sadullah Ergin
Ministry of Justice
06669 Kızılay
Ankara
Turkey
Fax: +90 312 419 3370
sadullahergin@adalet.gov.tr

Prime Minister of Turkey
Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Başbakanlık Merkez Bina
Vekaletler Caddesi
06573 Kızılay
Ankara
Turkey
receptayyip.erdogan@basbakanlik.gov.tr

President Abdullah Gül
TC Cumhurbaşkanlığı Genel Sekreterliği
06689 Çankaya
Ankara
Turkey
cumhurbaskanligi@tccb.gov.tr

His Excellency Mr. Ünal Çeviköz
43 Belgrave Square
London
SW1X 8PA
Fax: 020 7393 9213
Email: embassy.london@mfa.gov.tr

**Please send appeals before 28 October 2013, which is the start-date set for the next trial session**

Or you could use the form below.  A sample letter is provided but it is always better if you put the appeal in your own words.

[ecampaign ‘to=embassy.london@mfa.gov.tr‘ subject=”Concerns over trial of KCK ‘Press Wing’.”]

Your Excellency

I am writing to you as a supporter of English PEN, the founding centre of the international association of writers, to express my concern over the ongoing detention of journalists being tried as part of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) ‘Press Wing’.

Whilst I join PEN in welcoming the recent release pending trial of Dicle News Agency editor Fatma Koçak, I am alarmed by the continuing detention of 22 journalists, and by the excessive length of their trial.

The trial, which implicates 46 journalists in total (24 of whom have been released pending trial) as belonging to the urban limb of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been widely described by observers as a crackdown on the Kurdish and pro-Kurdish press in Turkey. There is widespread concern that some or all of the 46 journalists are being prosecuted solely for activities which relate to their legitimate, peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association, as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, to which Turkey is a state party.

I therefore join PEN in calling for the immediate release of all 22 detained journalists pending completion of their trial, and the dropping of all charges against anyone accused of involvement in the KCK press wing which relate solely to their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association.

I would welcome your comments on my appeal.

Yours sincerely

[/ecampaign]

About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

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