Armed raids against journalists are an attempt at criminalization by the AKP-MHP Alliance

Statement by HDP Foreign Affairs Spokespersons Feleknas Uca and Hişyar Özsoy, 26.10.2022:

Yesterday, police carried out simultaneous raids on the homes of 11 journalists in Ankara, Diyarbakir, Mardin, Urfa, Van and Istanbul. The names of the detained journalists are Diren Yurtsever, Selman Güzelyüz, Emrullah Acar, Hakan Yalçın, Berivan Altan, Zemo Ağgöz, Ceylan Şahinli, Deniz Nazlım, Habibe Eren, Mehmet Günhan and Öznur Değer. Derya Ren, a JinNews reporter, was also taken into custody under another investigation. 

According to their lawyers, all the journalists were held at gunpoint, rear-handcuffed, and tortured during the house raids and transfers from their homes to detention stations. The handcuffed journalists were made to lie down, and the police then sat on the journalists’ backs during the house search process. 

This aggressive and inhuman approach shown by the police towards the journalists is a message to all journalists and media workers critical of the government. Armed raids against journalists are an attempt at criminalization by the ruling AKP-MHP Coalition. Sadly, we can expect oppression against democratic institutions in opposition to rise systematically as we approach the elections in 2023.   

According to the MLSA’s report of October 22nd, 57 journalists have already been imprisoned. Due to censorship amendments to the criminal law that were recently passed by the National Assembly, it has become even easier for journalists and citizens to be imprisoned without a legitimate reason.   

We, as the HDP, call on international human rights organizations and the media to react to authoritarian policies of repression against journalists in Turkey.

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