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PRESS RELEASE: Füsun Erdoğan and five other Turkish journalists get life sentences

Friday 8 November 2013 - 10:49am

Norwegian PEN ask members of the Norwegian delegation currently on a state visit to Turkey, to react sharply and raise this issue with its host.

A court in Istanbul yesterday issued a ruling in the so called MLCP case where journalists Fusun Erdoğan, Bayram Namaz, Sedat Senoglu, Ibrahim Cicek, Ziya Ulusoy and Arif Çelebi was sentenced to life imprisonment . According to local media journalists were accused of being members of a Marxist organization ( MLCP ) prohibited acc. the Turkish anti - terrorist legislation. Erdoğan was accused of being the leader of MLCP because she is the founder of the radio station Özgür Radyo who are critical of the government.

«Journalists are not terrorists» ! This is the clear message European Federation of Journalists ( EFJ ) submitted to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on «Stand Up for Journalism Day», after the judgment was announced yesterday.

International Federation of Journalists ( IFJ ) has joined the EFJ and now requires that the life sentences given to Fusun Erdoğan and five other journalists be appealed.

Norwegian PEN believes these recent rulings are particularly grave examples of the Turkish government's attempt to gag journalists, and yet another illustration of the regime's brutal use of anti-terror laws to stop free speech .

Norwegian PEN ask the Norwegian delegation , who are still in Turkey , to react sharply and raise this issue with its host.

Additional background information follows this press release .

For more information:
Norwegian PEN's deputy, Elisabeth Eide, 9953 8384
PEN International's vice president , Eugene Schoulgin , 4803 1212

6 November 2013