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OSCE concerned over mass arrests of journalists in Turkey

14:09, 21.12.2011 Region: World News, Turkey Theme: Politics

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic expressed concern over mass arrests of journalists in Turkey calling for swift investigations on Tuesday.

“It is important to know exactly why these media professionals were arrested.  Although governments have an unquestioned right to fight terrorism, it should be carried out without silencing the press and curbing the public’s right to be informed. This right includes reporting on sensitive issues, such as terrorism,” she said.

According to news reports, some 20 journalists were taken into custody early this morning following police raids on offices and houses across the country.

“The sheer volume of today’s police raids on journalists causes great concern for their safety as well as threatens the general press freedom situation in the country because it leads to self-censorship,” Mijatovic said.

“Even before today’s developments, the number of imprisoned journalists in Turkey is unprecedented in the OSCE region. This was an issue I also raised with the authorities during my visit to Turkey last week,” she added.

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