131 journalists detained in Turkey in 2016

The number of detained journalists in Turkey rose from 31 in 2015 to 131 in 2016, according to the Independent Communication Network (BIA).

In the report, the sharp increase was attributed to the new decree laws introduced by the government, and also to the Constitutional Court of Turkey and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) no longer being a means to pursue justice in the country.

In 2016, at least 201 journalists and media workers were arrested while carrying out their duties, compared to 120 in 2015. 56 media workers were subject to attacks and 118 to threats during the year.

Two journalists were killed in Turkey in 2016. Rohat Aktas of Kurdish language newspaper Azadiya Welat and Zaher al-Shurqat, a Syrian national working for Aleppo Today newspaper.

In 2016, 16 people including 12 journalists were convicted and sentenced to a total of 15 years and four days in prison and fined 42,000 Turkish Liras (10,700 Euro ca) for insulting the President.

The state of emergency and the decree laws introduced after the coup attempt brought the cancellation of 778 press cards, the confiscation of the property of 54 journalists, 29 temporary media bans, closures of 179 media outlets, and the cancellation of 46 journalists’ passports.

300 Twitter accounts were blocked; 22 Youtube links, 79 Instagram links, 323 internet news sites and 76 other websites were censored.

The BIA’s Media Monitoring Desk has published quarterly and annual monitoring reports on rights violations concerning freedom of expression in Turkey since 2001.