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Turkey jails more union leaders & journalists

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10 December 2018

The brutal crackdown on journalists and trade union leaders has escalated in Turkey as heavy sentences were pronounced against five journalists last week.

The National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland (NUJ) has condemned the latest sentences and launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the plight of our colleagues who are currently in jail. 

The NUJ has decided to adopt Ayşe Düzkan in an act of solidarity.

Ayşe is a member of the board of Disk-Is, one of the NUJ's sister unions in Turkey and has been defending herself for the last year and a half whilst going through the various court procedures. She was indicted last week and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The Istanbul court has jailed our colleagues on charges of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization".

Hüseyin Aykol was also sentenced and given three years and nine months; Hüseyin Bektaş, Mehmet Ali Çelebi and Ragıp Duran were each also given sentences of one year and six months in jail.

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"News that leaders of our sister union Disk-Is have been sentenced is a massive blow to press freedom. The heavy sentences served down on Ayse Düzkan and her four colleagues are a disgrace and a clear sign that the pressures facing journalists and journalism in Turkey show no sign of abating. Journalists are not terrorists and should be able to carry out their work without fear of intimidation and persecution. The world needs to make it clear to the Turkish regime that its brutal crackdown on journalists has to stop. Ayse and all those other journalists currently in prison have the full support and solidarity of all NUJ colleagues throughout the UK and Ireland and we will do all we can to press for an end to their incarceration."

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists, with a record 180 colleagues detained behind bars.

Tags: , turkey, ifj, journalists detained, solidarity, terrorism