Europe & Central Asia

Failed coup speeds Turkey crackdown

The government closes more than 100 broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, publishers, and distribution companies and detains more than 100 journalists and media workers over the space of a month. Courts and regulators censor at least 30 news-related websites. Security forces raid and shutter two newspapers' offices, and the prime minister's office revokes the press credentials of at least 330 journalists. CPJ press freedom awardee Can Dündar resigns his editorship and goes into exile.
Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 25
Timeline: Erdoğan vs. the press
Halil İncesu/DİHA

Alerts   |   Kazakhstan

Kazakh journalists face years in prison on retaliatory charges

New York, September 30, 2016-- Kazakh authorities should immediately drop all charges against Seytkazy Matayev, head of the Kazakh Journalists' Union and chair of the National Press Club of Kazakhstan, and his son Aset Matayev, director of the independent news agency KazTag, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. A verdict in their trial is expected on October 3, according to press reports.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkey closes at least 20 TV, radio stations

In this October 28, 2015, file photo, a demonstrator holds a sign reading "Free media cannot be silenced" at a protest in Istanbul. (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

New York, September 29, 2016--Turkish authorities should immediately reverse an order to close at least 20 television and radio stations and allow them to continue broadcasting without interference, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The government used emergency powers to order the stations closed last night, and police raided and sealed the offices of at least two of the broadcasters today, according to press reports.

Alerts   |   Russia

Russian journalist to be tried for alleging election irregularities

New York, September 27, 2016―Russian authorities should drop all charges against investigative journalist Denis Korotkov, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Korotkov, a correspondent for the independent news website Fontanka, is scheduled to appear before a Saint Petersburg court tomorrow, in connection with his alleging irregularities in Russia's September 18 parliamentary elections.

Alerts   |   Russia

Russian investigative journalist Grigory Pasko assaulted in Siberia

Russian investigative journalist Grigory Pasko leaves prison in Ussuriysk, January 23, 2003. (Reuters/Igor Onuchin)

New York, September 27, 2016--Authorities in Russia's southern Siberian republic of Altai should credibly investigate yesterday's assault on investigative journalist and journalism trainer Grigory Pasko and swiftly bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

September 27, 2016 4:36 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 25

In this July 21, 2016, file photo, a merchant reads the newspaper in Istanbul. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

Reporter arraigned on terrorism charges for having app on phone
A court in the southern Turkish city of Isparta on September 24 arraigned Ramazan Alkan, a reporter for the pro-government, Islamist daily Yeni Akit on terrorism charges for having an app on his phone authorities believe followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen use to communicate with each other in secret, his employer reported today. The Turkish government accuses Gülen of leading a terrorist organization and "parallel state structure" within Turkey that it blames for a July 15 failed military coup. Gülen denies any role in the attempted coup.

Alerts   |   Russia

Online journalist flees Russia following threats

Aleksandr Sotnik announces his flight from Russia, following threats, in this screenshot of the September 20, 2016 episode of his YouTube show.

New York, September 21, 2016--Russian authorities should credibly investigate threats against independent online journalist Aleksandr Sotnik and bring those responsible to justice, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Sotnik yesterday announced that he had fled Russia following threats connected to his critical reporting on Kremlin policies.

September 21, 2016 4:23 PM ET

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Blog   |   Montenegro

CPJ joins call for Montenegro to free imprisoned journalist Jovo Martinović

Freelance journalist Jovo Martinović has been in pretrial detention for 11 months. (Martinovic family)

The Committee to Protect Journalists, along with the Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders, today wrote a joint letter to Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Đukanović protesting the 11-month pretrial detention of freelance journalist Jovo Martinović, who has been accused of participating in a drug trafficking ring--an accusation he has denied and which the prosecution has failed to substantiate with evidence.

September 19, 2016 11:51 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 18

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks at the G20 summit in Gangzhou, China, September 5, 2016. (Reuters/Damir Salgoj)

Taraf chief editor detained hours after release

Hours after his release from prison, the writer and journalist Ahmet Altan was detained again. Altan turned himself in late last night and was arrested after hearing that he was wanted by authorities, according to reports. According to a report in the daily, Hürriyet, the prosecution objected to Altan's release under judicial control and argued that as the founding chief editor of the daily, Taraf, the journalist was a part of the FETÖ/PDY organization. The court ordered the journalist to be detained again under accusations of "attempting to eliminate the government of the Republic of Turkey or to prevent it from its duties" and "being member of a [terrorist] organization." Despite some pro-government media reports on Altan being detained while on the run, other reports and accounts on social media said the journalist turned himself in. Both Altan brothers, Ahmet and Mehmet are at Silivri Prison in Istanbul, pending trial

Blog   |   Turkey

CPJ testifies on Turkey's press freedom record after failed coup attempt

Turkish journalist Can Dündar and his wife, Dilek, who had her passport confiscated in September. (Reuters/Osman Orsal)

CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova today testified before the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, at the hearing, "Turkey after the July Coup Attempt."

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 11

In this October 11, 1999, file photo, Turkish writers (left to right) Orhan Pamuk, Ahmet Altan, and Yasher Kemal hold a news conference to urge a peaceful resolution to the conflict with Kurdish separatists. Police detained Altan and his brother, Mehmet, on September 10, 2016. (Reuters)

Eid holiday leaves detained writers in legal limbo, lawyers say
Veysel Ok and Ergin Cinmen, lawyers for Mehmet and Ahmet Altan, two prominent writers detained four days ago, yesterday made a joint statement saying that because of the Eid holiday they could not find the responsible prosecutor or a court in which to appeal their clients' detention.

They called the charges against the brothers - sending "subliminal messages" about the July 15 failed military coup in their writings before the fact - "unserious."

[September 13, 2016]

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