Committee to Protect Journalists slams Turkey over media rights

Journalists and protesters hold placards outside an Istanbul court on October 31, 2017, calling for the release of jailed colleagues, including Turkish reporter Ahmet Şık. (AP Photo)
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Updated 24 June 2020

Committee to Protect Journalists slams Turkey over media rights

  • CPJ criticized Turkish plans to resume trials following a three-month suspension prompted by the pandemic
  • According to Reporters Without Borders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has waged a “witch-hunt” against journalists since the 2016 coup attempt

LONDON: The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Turkey to stop prosecuting journalists, and to ensure that necessary safety precautions are taken in court to protect defendants during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The international NGO, which is dedicated to protecting the rights of journalists worldwide, criticized Turkish plans to resume trials following a three-month suspension prompted by the pandemic.

“The sheer number of trials targeting Turkish journalists shows authorities’ contempt and hostility towards the media. This situation is even more unacceptable during the coronavirus pandemic,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Gulnoza Said.

“Turkish authorities must stop putting journalists on trial for their reporting; if they will not drop their charges against members of the press, they must at least ensure journalists can attend court safely.”

Independent news website Bianet said court reporters in Istanbul have been concerned that courts are not properly following COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The reporters have said the pandemic has had a serious impact on the running of the courts, with many trials starting late and proper notes not being taken during trials.

Turkey is among the worst countries in the world for its treatment of journalists. According to Reporters Without Borders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has waged a “witch-hunt” against journalists since the 2016 coup attempt.

The campaign of repression has earned Turkey the unenviable title of the world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists.


TWITTER POLL: People remain divided on whether to fly amid coronavirus pandemic

Updated 05 July 2020

TWITTER POLL: People remain divided on whether to fly amid coronavirus pandemic

  • People remain split over whether they intend to fly
  • Some airlines have been operating but with strict health and safety measures

DUBAI: Many airlines have started commercial flights again, but an Arab News Twitter poll revealed that people remain split on whether they are prepared to get on board.

Of the 572 people who took part in the two-day poll, just over 23 percent said there was no way they would even consider flying again, despite assurances from airlines that all precautions against the coronavirus were being taken.

Dubai’s Emirates airline is among those that have reintroduced some flights – as has Abu Dhabi’s Etihad – but both are operating strict health and safety regulations.

And while some airlines and countries might be open for business, in many cases this is still dependent on individual people testing negative for COVID-19 tests before they are allowed to travel.

 

 

That has not put off more than 38 percent of those who responded to the poll saying they were off on their holidays, while nearly the same amount said they would wait for a while before traveling.

Now take our new poll: