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16 Jul 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 23 Jul 2019 Russian Federation

Ingushetia Court Orders Two Months of Pre-trial Detention for Journalist Rashid Maysigov

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner CPJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ Index
On 12 July 2019, in Nazran, Ingushetia within the Russian Federation, agents from the local division of the Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Rashid Maysigov, a reporter for investigative news website Fortanga who also administers the outlet's channel on Telegram, according to his lawyer, Magomed Aushev. Agents detained Maysigov after raiding his home, where they allegedly found drugs and printed materials calling for the unification of Ingushetia with the neighbouring Republic of Georgia. Maysigov told his lawyer that FSB agents took him into custody and interrogated him about his journalism, electrocuted him during questioning, and forced him to confess to possessing drugs, Aushev told CPJ. On 16 July 2019, a Magassky district court formally placed Maysigov under arrest and ordered him to remain in pre-trial detention in jail for two months pending an investigation into alleged illegal drug possession. At Fortanga, Maysigov contributed to reports on alleged corruption, unemployment, and human rights violations in Ingushetia, a representative from the website, who requested anonymity citing fear of reprisal, told CPJ. Maysigov told his employer that the FSB had tapped his phone, and he believed agents were following him, prompting him to suspend his journalism activities in June. Maysigov's lawyer stated that the journalist will appeal the court ruling. On 14 July, Russia's media regulatory agency, Roskomnadzor, blocked Fortanga's website; it was unblocked on 21 July.
Updates
New 16 Sep 2019
On 6 September 2019, the city court of the city of Magas (Ingushetia) extended the preliminary detention of Rashid Maysigov until 12 October.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Rashid Maysigov
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13 Sep 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 31 Oct 2016 Turkey

Cumhuriyet Newspaper Employees arrested on Terrorism-Related Charges

1 Journalist in detention
Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner Article 19 AEJ CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index IPI RSF
On 31 October 2016, Turkish police detained at least 12 employees of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Turkey's largest secular, left-leaning paper, and one of the few publications that continues to criticise the government. The detained media workers are accused of membership of, and committing crimes on behalf of, two terrorist organisations: the Kurdistan Workers’ party and the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ), which the government accuses of being behind the failed coup attempt. According to media reports, prosecutors also issued detention warrants for two of the newspaper’s executives, who are both currently abroad.

Following police raids, the following people were taken into custody: Murat Sabuncu (Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief); Güray Öz (Cumhuriyet board executive and columnist); Aydın Engin (former editor-in-chief of the newspaper); Hikmet Çetinkaya (columnist); Eser Sevinç, Hakan Kara, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Önder Çelik (all board members of the Cumhuriyet Foundation); Turhan Günay (Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper’s book supplement); and columnist Kadri Gürsel, who is also the head of the International Press Institute’s Turkey office.
Updates
New 13 Sep 2019
On 12Th September 2019, overturning the verdict of a lower court, the 16th Penal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals (Court of Cassation) ruled that the execution of the sentences of seven Cumhuriyet staff members shall be suspended and requested the journalists be released. Musa Kart, Güray Öz, Hakan Kara, Önder Çelik, and Mustafa Kemal Güngör were released in the evening from Kandıra prison. The released staffers are barred from leaving the country. The court did not overturn the sentence of Emre İper, who remains in jail. It additionally requested cancellation of Bülent Utku's arrest warrant. All the Cumhuriyet journalists and staffers except İper have been released following this verdict, and those thirteen defendants will be retried for the original terrorism charges at a lower court.
03 Jun 2019
On 29 May 2019, Kadri Gürsel was sent to Metris Prison to begin a 30-month prison sentence upheld by the court of appeal in February 2019. Later the same day, the journalist was released from prison as his request for probation was accepted.
03 May 2019
On 2 May 2019, the Constitutional court ruled that the rights of journalists Kadri Gürsel and Murat Aksoy were violated. (The court has been reviewing rights violations for those arrested after the coup attempt, but its rulings do not automatically affect criminal sentences.) On 2 May 2019, the appeals based on the “breach of fundamental rights” were overruled for Akin Atalay, the former publisher of Cumhuriyet; Murat Sabuncu, Cumhuriyet’s former editor-in-chief; Ahmet Şık, a reporter; and Bulent Utku, a high-level editorial manager.
29 Apr 2019
On 25 April 2019, six journalists and executives surrendered to Kandıra prison in Kocaeli province after an appeals confirmation of their jail sentences was officially communicated to Turkey’s National Judicial Informatics System (UYAP) on 19 April. Defendants – Musa Kart, Önder Çelik, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Güray Öz, Hakan Kara and Emre İper – returned to prison to serve the remainder of their sentences.
15 Apr 2019
On 19 February 2019, an Istanbul appeals court confirmed the sentences handed down by a lower criminal court in April 2018. Journalists in the case with sentences greater than five years have the possibility of further appeal. Lower sentences are considered final under Turkish law.
26 Apr 2018
On 25 April 2018, an Istanbul court convicted 13 journalists and executives of Cumhuriyet of aiding terrorist organizations and sentenced them to jail terms ranging between two and seven years. The court placed the journalists on probation and banned them from traveling until the appeals process has ended. The judge also ordered the conditional release of Cumhuriyet chairman Akin Atalay. The court acquitted three of the defendants : Bülent Yener, a former board member, Turhan Günay, chief editor of the daily's literary supplement, and Günseli Özatalay, the chief accountant.
12 Mar 2018
On 9 March 2018, the 27th High Criminal Court of Istanbul ruled for the release of Murat Sabuncu and Ahmet Şık pending the conclusion of the trial. Sabuncu and Şık remain under judicial control. The daily's chairman, Akın Atalay, however, was remanded in custody until the next hearing, scheduled for 16 March, during which the prosecutor is expected to submit his final opinion.
29 Dec 2017
On 29 December 2017 an Istanbul Court ruled to release Emre İper. He remains under judicial control and an international travel ban.
25 Dec 2017
On 25 December 2017 a judge at Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse ruled to keep Ahmet Şık, Akın Atalay, Emre Iper and Murat Sabuncu in jail for at least two more months until the next session of the trial on 9 March 2018.
22 Nov 2017
On 21 November 2017, Oğuz Güven received a three year and one month prison sentence on two separate terror charges. Güven remains free pending appeal.
26 Sep 2017
On 25 September 2017, the Court ruled to release Kadri Gürsel, though he remains on trial on charges of links to terror groups. After completing formalities, he was released from the Silivri prison. The Court confirmed the detention of Akın Atalay, Emre Iper and Murat Sabuncu. Their next hearing is scheduled for 31 October 2017.
12 Sep 2017
On 11 September 2017, a Turkish court confirmed Ahmet Şık's detention. The next hearing is scheduled for 25 September.
12 Sep 2017
On 11 September 2017 a Turkish court Court confirmed the detention of Akın Atalay, Murat Sabuncu and Kadri Gürsel. Their next hearing is scheduled for 25 September.
31 Jul 2017
On 28 July 2017, an Istanbul court released seven Cumhuriyet journalists and executives. Five are to remain under arrest including Ahmet Şık. The court also decided that additional criminal charges would be brought against Ahmet Şık for his defense statement.
15 Jun 2017
On 14 June 2017, after 30 days of imprisonment, Oğuz Güven was released pending trial. His next hearing is scheduled to take place on 14 September 2017.
16 May 2017
On 12 May 2017, Oğuz Güven, editor-in-chief of the online edition of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, was detained as part of a criminal investigation led by the Bureau of Press Offences of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul. On 15 May, Güven appeared before a judge, who ordered that he be held in pre-trial detention, on “propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and “defamation against a person’s memory” charges. Both charges against the journalist are solely based on the title of a news report published and tweeted by Cumhuriyet on an online account about the accidental death of a prosecutor. During the hearing, the journalist repeated that the controversial tweet (“the prosecutor who sought the first warrants against FETÖ was cut apart by a truck”) was only visible during 55 seconds, was immediately corrected (“the prosecutor lost life in a serious car accident”) and is one of the 300 tweets per day written by the journalist, that he cannot be suspected of doing anything to support any terrorist organisation.
19 Apr 2017
On 7 April 2017, Cumhuriyet’s Finance Manager Emre İper was taken into custody during a midnight raid on his home by police. He was arrested on 19 April on charges of using ByLock, a communications app allegedly used by the Fethullah Gülen network and “being member of a terrorsit organisation”.
11 Jan 2017
On 29 December 2016, the investigative journalist Ahmet Şık was detained by Turkish authorities on charges of " propaganda on behalf of an illegal terrorist organisation" and "openly denigrating the Republic of Turkey, its judicial organs and its military and police". Şık tweeted that he was being detained due to a single tweet; a news report stated that the detention also related to various reporting elements including an interview with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)'s administrator published in Cumhuriyet daily in March 2015. On 30 December, Ahmet Şık was officially put under arrest on charges of spreading propaganda for the PKK, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C) and for the Fethullah Gülen group, an Islamic network the Turkish judiciary refers to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). All three groups are outlawed in Turkey. A report published by the Cumhuriyet claimed that Ahmet Şık had been denied drinking water for three days at Metris Prison, where he was kept before being transferred to Silivri Prison on 3 January. The Justice Ministry's Directorate General for Correctional Facilities released a statement denying the allegation, the official statement claimed Şık was given 1.5 liters of bottled water on 1 January. The Turkish authorities own regulation states that "any inmate has to right to have on daily basis 200 liters of cold water and 50 liters of hot water". Ahmet Şık also claimed that he was denied access to newspaper, pen and books in the cell. Ahmet Şık's access to his lawyers (Can Atalay and Tora Pekin) and family members were also denied during the first 5 days of his detention because the authorities couldn't record the conversation between the lawyers and their client. Şık was previously arrested in March 2011 in relation to an investigation into the Oda TV news website. He spent a year in prison for an unpublished critical book about the Gülen movement supported, at that time, by the AKP government. Today, the journalist is charged with doing propaganda for the same movement.
14 Nov 2016
On 12 November 2016, the CEO of daily Cumhuriyet, Akin Atalay, was arrested for “being a member of a terrorist organization” , upon his arrival at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. A detention warrant had been issued for him on 30 October while he was abroad.
08 Nov 2016
On 5 November 2016, nine journalists and executives from the Cumhuriyet daily were placed under formal arrest by the İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace. The daily’s columnists Aydın Engin and Hikmet Çetinkaya were released by the court pending trial. A travel ban was imposed on them. On 4 November 2016, Günseli Özaltay, the accounting manager of the newspaper, and former accounting manager Bülent Yener were released.
Follow-ups
13 Sep 2019
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative welcomes release of seven former Cumhuriyet journalists in Turkey.
29 Apr 2019
OSCE Media Freedom Representative appalled by return to prison of former Cumhuriyet journalists in Turkey, calls for their immediate release.
04 May 2018
Secretary General deeply worried by the chilling effect the heavy criminal sentences may have on media freedom
26 Apr 2018
OSCE representative welcomes release of Akın Atalay in Turkey but strongly condemns prison sentences for Cumhuriyet journalists and staff.
23 Mar 2018
All Cumhuriyet journalists must be released, says OSCE representative Désir following continued detention of CEO Atalay
12 Mar 2018
OSCE Media Freedom Representative welcomes the release of two Cumhuriyet journalists, calls on Turkey to free Akın Atalay and drop charges against all defendants
19 Jan 2018
The Council of Europe Secretary General refers to the recent decisions of Turkey’s Constitutional Court in his address to the Committee of Ministers
19 Oct 2017
On 10 October 2017, the Commissioner for human rights intervened before the European Court of Human Rights in cases concerning the detention of journalists and freedom of expression in Turkey
26 Sep 2017
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media welcomes the release of Kadri Gürsel and calls for release of imprisoned Cumhuriyet journalists in Turkey.
12 Sep 2017
OSCE Media Freedom Representative renews calls on Turkey to urgently release jailed journalists.
31 Jul 2017
Cumhuriyet trial interim court decision shows urgency to drop charges and release all imprisoned Turkish journalists, says OSCE Media Freedom Representative.
25 Jul 2017
OSCE media freedom representative calls on Turkey to release imprisoned journalists
12 Jun 2017
On 8 June 2017, the European Court of Human Rights communicated to the Turkish Government the case of Sabuncu and Others v. Turkey. The applicants, ten journalists from the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet placed in police custody and subsequently in pre-trial detention on suspicion of having committed offences on behalf of terrorist organisations and disseminating propaganda for them, complained about their pre-trial detention and its duration, and also submit that there has been a breach of their freedom of expression. They further allege that their detention is a sanction against them for criticising the government and amounts to politically-motivated judicial harassment. They rely in particular on Article 5 § 1, 3 and 4 (right to liberty and security / right to speedy review of the lawfulness of detention), Article 10 (freedom of expression) and Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights).
15 Feb 2017
Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
31 Oct 2016
Statement from Secretary General Jagland expressing his concern about state of emergency measures and freedom of expression in Turkey
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (1):

Emre İper
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13 Sep 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 13 Sep 2019 Spain

Several Journalists Targeted while Covering Demonstrations

Source of threatNon-state
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ
On 11 September 2019, unidentified people intimidated and attacked journalists from TVE and Antena 3 TV channels in front of the Catalan Parliament during a demonstration. The attack happened during the afternoon and the evening and was aired by both TV channels (during and after the incidents). Nobody needed medical care. The attackers threw objects, water and damaged materials of TVE's team, as well as intimidated both reporting teams from the two TV stations, screaming, shouting and whistling out and on camera. During the last years, the tension in the political debate between Catalonia and Spain has moved to the streets and journalists are suffering the consequences. One of the pro-independence demonstrations -which congregated 300 people- became the scene of violence and altercations to members of the police and some journalists who were reporting on the event.
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12 Sep 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 12 Sep 2018 Turkey

Austrian Journalist Max Zirngast Detained in Turkey

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI
Austrian journalist Max Zirngast has been detained on early hours of 11 September 2018 at his apartment in Ankara by anti-terror authorities. According to some media reports, he would be detained on "terror propaganda" charges. Allegations may be related to his political publications and involvement in civil activism against the Turkish government. He was arrested along with two other Turkish citizens.

Max Zirngast, a political science student at the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ), has been contributing to left-wing publications such as Austrian magazine re:volt, US left-wing publication Jacobin, Turkish socialist monthly Toplumsal Özgürlük. He was publishing content often critical to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has been politically active in the election campaign of pro-kurdish HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party).
Updates
New 11 Sep 2019
On 11 September 2019, Ankara 26th Heavy Penal Court acquitted journalist Max Zirngast of all charges and lifted his travel ban.
15 Apr 2019
Max Zirngast’s first hearing took place on 11 April 2019. Judicial control measure to sign weekly attendance at police station is lifted, travel ban remained. Hearing adjourned to 11 September 2019.
04 Jan 2019
On 25 December 2018, Austrian freelance journalist Max Zirngast has been released but is still under prosecution with a travel ban.
Follow-ups
12 Sep 2018
OSCE Representative strongly condemns detention of Austrian journalist Max Zirngast and urge authorities to immediately release him.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (0):

Max Zirngast
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09 Sep 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 03 Oct 2016 Russian Federation

Ukrainian Journalist Held on ‘Spying‘ Allegations

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ Index
The authorities in Russia arrested Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko who is believed to be currently detained in the Lefortovo prison in Moscow, according to human rights organisations. Media reports in Russia said that the 47-year-old Paris correspondent for the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform since 2010 was arrested on his arrival in Russia and was charged with spying, a charge that the agency has strongly refuted.

The journalist’s family had been without news of him for two days, after he left Paris for a private visit to Moscow during his leave. Suchchenko reportedly complained that he had been put under psychological pressure and was not allowed to contact his wife to inform her about his arrest.
Updates
New 09 Sep 2019
On 7 September 2019, journalist Roman Sushchenko was released as a result of an exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine. Sushchenko was reprotedly pardoned and banned from entering the Russian Federation for 20 years.
14 Sep 2018
On 12 September 2018, the Supreme Court of Russia rejected the appeal by Roman Sushchenko against his 12-year prison sentence on charges of spying. The journalist announced his intention to file an application with the ECHR.
04 Jun 2018
On 4 June 2018, a Moscow city court sentenced Roman Sushchenko to 12 years in a strict-regime prison on espionage charges
05 Apr 2018
On 27 March 2018, Moscow City Court extended the term of Roman Sushchenko's detention in custody for six months, until 16 September 2018. An appeal was filed against this decision.
24 Jan 2018
On 24 January 2018 a Moscow Court extended Sushchenko’s detention until 30 March 2018.
16 Oct 2017
Between November 2016 and September 2017, Courts extended several times the pre-trial detention term of Roman Sushchenko. The last extension runs until 30 November 2017.
30 Nov 2016
On 28 November 2016, the Lefortovo District Court ordered to extend the pre-trial detention of Mr Sushchenko until 30 January 2017
Follow-ups
09 Sep 2019
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative welcomes release of Sentsov, Sushchenko and Vyshinsky, thanks both countries for this achievement.
14 Sep 2018
OSCE Representative reiterates call to release journalist Roman Sushchenko, following Russian Supreme Court upholding his sentence
05 Jun 2018
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, deplored the sentencing of Ukrainian journalist Roman Sushchenko to 12 years in prison in the Russian Federation, and reiterated his call to release the journalist.
Journalists in detention

Currently in detention (0):

Roman Sushchenko
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09 Sep 2019 Lvl. 1
State replied
Alert created on: 16 May 2018 Ukraine

RIA Novosti Journalist Kyrylo Vyshynsky Held on Treason Allegations in Ukraine

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Partner EFJ/IFJ CPJ Index RSF
Kyrylo Vyshynsky, a Ukrainian journalist working for Russia’s state-run news agency RIA Novotsi in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, was detained on 15 May 2018 on allegations of treason. His arrest came hours before raids by Ukrainian security service (SBU) at the news agency’s offices. According to media reports, the authorities suspected Vyshynsky, who was granted Russian citizenship in 2015 by Presidential decree, of allegedly collaborating with Ukrainian armed separatists in Eastern Ukraine. The prosecuting officials in Kyiv also accused him of allegedly subversive reporting to justify Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, media reports added. 51-year-old Vyshynsky joined RIA Novosti in 2015 after having worked for several Ukrainian media outlets and Russia's state television channel Rossiya as its correspondent in Kyiv.
Updates
New 09 Sep 2019
On 7 September 2019, journalist Kyrylo Vyshynsky was released as a result of an exchange of prisoners between Russia and Ukraine.
New 28 Aug 2019
On 28 August 2019, a Kyiv Court released Kyrylo Vyshynsky from custody ahead of his trial. The journalist must inform the court about any change of residence and that must refrain from any contact with witnesses in his case.
New 24 Jul 2019
On 7 May 2019, a district court in Kiev extended Vyshinsky’s arrest till 22 July 2019. On 19 July 2019, Kyrylo Vyshynsky, appeared in court in Kyiv. The Court extended his pretrial custody by two months, to 19 September.
12 Apr 2019
On 4 April 2019, the trial against Kyrylo Vyshynsky began in Kyiv’s Podil District Court. Mr Vyshynsky faces up to 15 years in prison, if found guilty of treason charges against him.
14 Feb 2019
On 8 February 2019, the court in Kherson extended until 8 April 2019 the arrest of Kyrylo Vyshynsky.
02 Jan 2019
On 27 December 2018, a Kherson court has extended Kyrylo Vyshynsky’s arrest until 27 January.
02 Nov 2018
On 1st November 2018, the Kherson City Court extended for the third time the pre-trial detention of Kyrylo Vyshynsky until 28 December 2018.
03 Oct 2018
On 26 September 2018, Vyshynsky’s custody was extended until 4 November 2018.
17 May 2018
On 17 May 2018, a court ordered Kyrylo Vyshynsky held for two months detention on high treason charges.
State replies
12 Jul 2018
Reply from the Government of Ukraine
Follow-ups
09 Sep 2019
New OSCE Media Freedom Representative welcomes release of Sushchenko and Vyshinsky, thanks both countries for this achievement.
29 Oct 2018
OSCE Representative expresses serious concern about lasting pre-trial detention of journalist Kirill Vyshinsky in Ukraine.
16 May 2018
OSCE Representative raises concern over raid against Russian News Agency and TV today in Ukraine
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06 Sep 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 06 Sep 2019 United Kingdom

Journalists Ian Cobain and Solomon Hughes Denied Accreditation to the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) Arms Fair

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner Index
No state reply yet
Partner Index
Two journalists, Ian Cobain and Solomon Hughes, have been denied accreditation to the Defense and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair by the event’s security team.

Ian Cobain, a senior Middle East Eye journalist, was told on 4 September 2019 that his application to cover the DSEI, which is backed by the British government and is due to take place in London between 10-13 September 2019, had been rejected by the event’s security team. Cobain was initially told that his accreditation was being delayed because the security team was checking whether he was a suitable journalist to be covering the fair. Despite having told the security team that he had been a journalist for more than 35 years, and had reported on several wars, Cobain was notified the following determinations: "After reviewing your application we are unable to establish that you are a journalist/editor/production team member in a relevant field."

Solomon Hughes, a journalist with the UK news and satirical magazine Private Eye, was also banned from the biennial event, despite having reported on it on the last three occasions.
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04 Sep 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 04 Sep 2019 Turkey

Journalist Levent Uysal Wounded in Shooting Attack

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner Index
No state reply yet
Partner Index
On 29 August 2019, at around 1 a.m., journalist Levent Uysal was approached by two people on a motorbike who had been waiting outside his home. They were both wearing helmets and pretended to ask for directions. They shot at the journalist six times, hitting him in the leg. Levent Uysal was hospitalised after the attack. He has said that he believed he was targeted as a result of his work.

Levent Uysal was the owner of Yenigün, a recently closed local newspaper, in the northwestern city of Balıkesir. Uysal told Deutsche Welle that despite the attack and the economic issues he has faced, he would continue his journalistic work by broadcasting via the internet.

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir, strongly condemned the shooting of Levent Uysal, expressing concern about the multiplication of violent incidents against journalists in Turkey. “This is the sixth grave attack since May this year in Turkey. More needs to be done to ensure that this deeply concerning trend is urgently reversed and that journalists are ensured a safe environment to work in”.
Follow-ups
04 Sep 2019
OSCE Media Freedom Representative strongly condemns shooting of journalist in Turkey, calls for thorough investigation
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03 Sep 2019 Lvl. 2
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 03 Sep 2019 Ukraine

Journalist and Blogger Igor Stakh Beaten in Ukraine

Source of threatUnknown
CategoryAttacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists
Partner CPJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ Index
On 29 August 2019, in Chernihiv, in northern Ukraine, two unidentified individuals kicked and punched journalist and blogger Igor Stakh near his home and then fled the scene, according to local news reports and a statement by the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine, an independent trade group.

Stakh was brought to a local hospital where he received stitches for a wound on his chin, was treated for a concussion, and was released, according to those reports.

Stakh told the union that he witnessed the attackers leave in a car and noted the car’s license plate number, but said that local police told him that the license plate information was not important, according to the union statement.

The union and its affiliate in Chernihiv said in their statement that the attack was likely connected to Stakh’s reporting on local corruption, which he publishes on his Facebook page and YouTube channel.
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30 Aug 2019 Lvl. 1
No state reply yet
Alert created on: 30 Aug 2019 Turkey

At Least Nine Journalists Detained for Reporting on Protests against Government-Appointed Trustees

Source of threatState
CategoryDetention and imprisonment of journalists
Partner CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index
No state reply yet
Partner CPJ EFJ/IFJ Index
At least nine journalists were taken in custody after reporting on protests taking place in four provinces against the dismissal of municipal mayors of the three Kurdish-majority cities of Diyarbakır, Mardin and Van.

On 19 August 2019, police arrested Ziyan Karahan, the Kurdish-language editor for the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency, at her home in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır, according to a report by her employer. Authorities told Karahan that she was detained for her “journalistic activities,” according to the Mezopotamya report. Ziyan Karahan was released by a Diyarbakır Court on 22 August.

The following day, police arrested five journalists who were covering the protests in Mardin, according to a report by Mezopotamya. Mezopotamya identified the journalists arrested at the protest in Mardin as Mezopotamya reporters Ahmet Kanbal and Mehmet Şah Oruç, Jin News Agency reporter Rojda Aydın, and freelance journalists Nurcan Yalçın and Halime Parlak. The five were arrested as police dispersed the protest with tear gas and water cannons. On 23 August, the detention period of the five journalists under arrest in Mardin was extended for four more days. Mezopotamya news agency reported that the prosecutor also launched an inquiry into their past journalistic activities. The 5 journalists were released on 26 August.

Following the appointment of a trustee to the Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality, several persons were arrested during house raids in the city, including journalist Yelda Çiçek. Çiçek was released from custody on 21 August.

In Istanbul, on the night of 22nd August, Özgür Gelecek reporter Taylan Özgür Öztaş was taken in custody following a house raid on the grounds that he participated in the Istanbul protest.

Earlier that day, Tunahan Turhan, a reporter for the Etkin news agency (ETHA), was detained following a criminal record check by the police in Istanbul, Kadıköy, as he was preparing to cover a demonstration in protest of the government-appointed trustees. Both Öztaş and Turhan were brought to Court on 23 August. The court released both journalists under judicial control measures.
Follow-ups
28 Aug 2019
OSCE Media Freedom Representative raises concern over recent detentions of journalists covering public protests in Turkey
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20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Mehmet Altan’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Altan’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Altan’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.

20 March 2018

On 20 March 2018, the European Court of Human Rights issued its Grand chamber judgment on Şahin Alpay’s case. The Court found there had been a violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security) and a violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention for Human Rights. With regards to article 5 §1, according to the Court findings, “Mr Alpay’s continued pre-trial detention, after the Constitutional Court’s clear and unambiguous judgment of 11 January 2018 (…), could not be regarded as ‘lawful’ ”. The Court held that “for another court to call into question the powers conferred on a constitutional court to give final and binding judgments on individual applications ran counter to the fundamental principles of the rule of law and legal certainty, which (…) were the cornerstones of the guarantees against arbitrariness”. Under Article 46 (binding force and execution of judgments) of the Convention, the Court held that it was incumbent on the respondent State to ensure the termination of Mr Alpay’s pre-tria detention at the earliest possible date. Under Article 10, the Court held in particular that “there was no reason to reach a different conclusion from that of the Constitutional Court, which had found that Mr Alpay’s initial and continued pre-trial detention, following his expression of his opinions, constituted a severe measure that could not be regarded as a necessary and proportionate interference in a democratic society”. The Court pointed out in particular that “criticism of governments and publication of information regarded by a country’s leaders as endangering national interests should not attract criminal charges for particularly serious offences such as belonging to or assisting a terrorist organisation, attempting to overthrow the government or the constitutional order or disseminating terrorist propaganda”.
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