Thursday, November 15, 2012

I'll stand by my imprisoned colleagues: Turkish Journalist

Baris Pehlivan made this remark today at a public gathering organized early in the afternoon by the European Federation of Journalists as part of the international campaign called "Set Turkish Journalists Free". Right now, there around 76 journalists who are behind bars in various prisons of Turkey. Pehlivan works for a private Turkish TV channel called ODATV and he was imprisoned, released and tomorrow he will face another terrorism charges in Istanbul's court. I asked him why doesn't he seek asylum in Sweden instead of risking his life and he said he would rather stand by his colleagues and live in Turkey until all of them are set free. He is accused by Turkish authorities for being a member of an imaginary terrorist group which allegedly plotting a coup d'eta in Turkey. He and his wife claimed that hundreds of innocent Turkish citizens are being locked up for having different opinions than the regime allows. There is a terrible situation for the press and freedom of expression in Turkey. The number of imprisoned journalists in spring was more than 100, which was more than in China. Pehlivan was jailed together with some 40 journalists during last Christmas, for being involved in the so-called Ergenekon plot.

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