OSCE media freedom representative urges Turkish authorities to denounce threats to journalists
VIENNA, 28 December 2012 - OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović today expressed concern over recent developments that could further curb media freedom and threaten the safety of journalists in Turkey.
During the evening of 16 December, Rohat Emekçi, a news anchor and producer for Gün Radio in Diyarbakir region, was attacked while leaving the radio station. Her wrist was broken and she suffered other injuries. She believes that the attack was related to her name appearing on a blacklist of journalists labelled terrorists and criminals published that day by daily newspaper Yeni Akit.
“The recent beating of Rohat Emekçi was not only a physical attack on the journalist, but it also threatens media freedom by encouraging self-censorship among media workers,” Mijatović said. The Turkish authorities should publicly condemn all attempts to silence journalists for their writing, she wrote in a letter to Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Most of the journalists on the blacklist are currently in jail with many still awaiting trial. For several years Mijatović’s Office has been promoting the right of all imprisoned journalists to fair and speedy trials.
“Protection of pluralistic discourse by the public authorities is equally essential when attempts to silence journalists come from within the media themselves,” she said.
Mijatović concluded by offering her Office’s continued assistance to Turkey in its media law reforms.