Human Rights Journalism Under Attack
The decision by the Ankara Criminal Court of Peace No.3 upon a letter on 16 July 2019 from the General Command of Gendarmerie to block 136 web addresses is a new and heavy assault on the freedom of expression. This decision of censorship on various social media channels and news outlets violates both national and international law and standards.
The right to freedom of expression does not only guarantee the rights of those who are willing to speak up. It also guarantees the right of people to receive reliable information and access to varying opinions and recommendations so that people would be able to evaluate information obtained from different channels when making decision or choice or forming opinion on a specific matter.
Among the news websites blocked by the decision is Bianet.org which is used to release information from a right-centered perspective. This decision will block access to more than 200 thousands of pages of news, research and reports that Bianet.org has stored in 19 years.
We, the undersigned rights organizations, strongly condemn this unlawful decision and call the authorities to overturn it.
Bianet is one of the rare media outlets in Turkey by which the human rights community in the country have been able to speak out. The assault on Bianet is also an assault on the human rights movement in Turkey, which we find unacceptable.
Civil Rights Defenders
Association for Monitoring Equal Rights
Truth Justice Memory Center
Human Rights Association
Human Rights Agenda Association
İzmir Bar Association
Media and Law Studies Association
Civic Space Studies Association
Human Rights Foundation
Citizens’ Assembly Turkey