27 int'l rights groups call for immediate release of Turkish journalist Sedef Kabaş

Some 27 international human rights groups released a joint statement calling for the immediate release of Turkish journalist Sedef Kabaş and an end to the judicial harassment of independent media.

Duvar English

Twenty-seven international organizations have issued a joint statement calling for the immediate release of renowned Turkish journalist Sedef Kabaş, who was jailed on Jan. 22 on a charge of "insulting" President Reep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In their call, the organizations also urged that Turkish authorities end their "judicial harassment of independent media" in the country. 

Kabaş has been arrested for critical comments she made about Erdoğan on a program aired on Jan. 14 on TV broadcaster TELE1. The alleged insult against Erdoğan was in the form of a palace-related proverb.

The organizations' joint statement recalled that Turkey’s Radio and Television High Council (RTÜK) last week issued a 5 percent revenue fine and a five-day program broadcast ban against TELE1. 

They demanded that RTÜİK withdraw its fines and bans against TELE1 and put "an end to the discriminatory issuing of punitive measures against independent broadcasters."

The rights organizations also touched upon the death threats against journalist Alican Uludağ. The journalist has been receiving death threats on Twitter following his reports noting that the judge who ordered the arrest of Kabaş was the same judge who ordered the re-arrest of Osman Kavala in 2020.

"A full investigation into the death threats against Alican Uludağ, whose safety and protection must be guaranteed by the authorities," the statement read.