As the Movement for Unconditional Justice, we stood our 7th watch in front of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on Friday, January 8th. The watch, in which 4 people attended due to the pandemic, lasted 2 hours.
- The subject of this week was journalists who arrested for political reasons and the pressure on the media in Turkey.
- Journalists are an important group who suffered from human rights violations in Turkey. All news criticizing the Government and its supporters who have the same views with the Government are censored. In addition to censorship, the journalists, owners and editors of the newspaper who have signed on to these news are also subjected to investigation. Each journalist is exposed to censorship and investigation if taking place against the Government.
- At least 721 journalists were arrested during the rule of AKP’s 18-year. Journalists was detained mostly between 2016-2017 when the state of emergency was implemented. At the moment, despite the coronavirus pandemic, 145 journalists are in prison and at least 260 journalists are on trial. According to the press freedom index of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey is ranked 154 among 180 countries.
- Unfortunately, all these pressure and censorship attempts are not limited to these. Journalists still expect justice from not only courts in Turkey but also European Court of Human Rights. Their expectation for justice has been lasting for years, whereas the ECtHR has not made judgments on these cases enough.
- Although domestic remedies have been exhausted in terms of the right to Freedom and Security in the case of Ahmet Altan, which has been in front of the ECtHR for 4 years, the ECtHR has not made a decision yet. This situation puts the “judicial policy” carried out by the ECtHR and creates hesitations in terms of the independence and impartiality of the Court.
- Ignoring there is no effective remedy in Turkey, The ECtHR fails to fulfill its duties towards the human rights violations increased exponentially moving and also exhibited a dual attitude and decision-making.
As the Movement for Unconditional Justice, our request, which we want to reiterate on the occasion of 10th of January – Working Journalists’ Day, is to make a decision as soon as possible about the applications pending before the ECtHR.