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IFJ Congress: EFJ condemns violence against journalists at Occupy Gezi

4 June 2013

IFJ World Congress

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has expressed outrage at the extreme violence against journalists who covered the peaceful protest that started on 28 May in Istanbul, Turkey.

Several EFJ affiliates, including the NUJ, have tabled an urgent motion to the IFJ Congress deploring the disproportionate use of force by the Turkish police against protestors and journalists covering the democratic movement called Occupy Gezi.

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, the EFJ President, said:

"This is an unacceptable act by the Turkish government who blatantly ignored the rights of citizen to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression as guaranteed in Articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"We are particularly concerned about the excessive force used by the authorities to target journalists."

The EFJ has learned that journalists, Ahmet, Ismail Afacan and Selçuk Samioglu, were seriously injured, journalists were detained by the police and are facing legal action that has been launched by the police.

The EFJ called on the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to release all journalists arrested during the protest and drop the charges. The EFJ expressed further concern over Erdogan's comment on the impact of social networks such as Twitter, as a "threat to society".

In the coming days, the EFJ affiliates will ask delegates at the IFJ world congress to convey solidarity with journalists working in such draconian conditions in Turkey.

The NUJ has been campaigning in support of Turkish journalists and organised a public meeting in London for world press freedom day in May.

Tags: , efj, safety, violence, ifj, istanbul, turkey, detention, occupy gezi