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End Abusive Prosecutions; Lift Restrictions on Free Speech

(Nairobi) – Burundi’s scrutiny and control of media and nongovernmental organizations, and the conviction after deeply flawed proceedings of 12 journalists and activists in exile have a continued chilling effect on their work, Human Rights Watch said…
Burundi's President Evariste Ndayishimiye at his inauguration on June 18, 2020. President Ndayishimiye took power two months early after the abrupt death of his predecessor, Pierre Nkurunziza.
News

End Violations of Media Freedom; Annul Abusive Measures; Ensure Impartiality

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), is imposing punitive and disproportionate sanctions against independent television and radio channels that broadcast commentary and news coverage critical of…
The Monitoring Center of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) where the broadcasts of more than 1780 radio and television stations are regulated.  November 9, 2020 
News
(Berlin) – The following statement was issued by 11 organizations, including Human Rights Watch, following their  visit to Turkey on October 6-9, 2020 to meet with journalists, officials, and others to assess the conditions for media freedom in…
News

State Regulator Insults Media as Journalists Appeal Conviction

Just when many thought press freedom had hit rock bottom in Burundi, the government-controlled National Communication Council’s (CNC) Media Awards this week have added insult to injury. The theme of this year’s ceremony was to…
journalists in Burundi attend court session
News

Government Bans Communication with BBC, VOA

The Burundian government today signalled a new attack on media freedom, announcing it would renew the Voice of America’s (VOA) suspension and withdraw the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) operating license. These draconian moves…
Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza arrives for celebrations to mark Burundi’s 55th anniversary of independence at the Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in Bujumbura, Burundi, July 1, 2017.
News

Prosecutor Widens Unjustified Probe of Osman Kavala

Update: Of the 13 people detained on November 16, 12 were released but are banned from overseas travel. An Istanbul court ruled that Yiğit Aksakoğlu, who has worked for many years in the field of human rights, including at…
Istanbul police detained 13 academics and individuals working for nongovernmental group Anadolu Kültür, November 16, 2018.
News

Students on Trial Despite Right to Free Speech

(Berlin) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has chosen to drop a complaint against four Ankara students he accused of “insulting the president” for holding up a satirical banner, Human Rights Watch said today. The students’ trial is due to…
The graduation ceremony at Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, July 6. 2018. The banner carried by students accused of insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is among the hundreds laid out at the ceremony.
News

Free Journalists, Rights Defenders, Politicians Jailed in Turkey

Given the present state of human rights in Turkey, the German government has come in for criticism over the elaborate plans for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey’s upcoming visit on September 28 and 29, including a state banquet…
From left to right: Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak
News

Draft Law Permits Purging Judges; Prolonged Detention; Curbing Movement, Assembly

(Istanbul)—A draft law being rushed through Turkey’s parliament will preserve many of the abusive powers granted to the president and executive under the country’s recent state of emergency, which formally ended on July 18, 2018, Human Rights Watch…
The human rights monument in Ankara cordoned off with a police barricade during Turkey’s state of emergency to prevent its use as a site of public assembly and protest, 2017.
News

Jailed Amnesty Turkey Chair, 10 Other Activists Face Unfounded Charges

(Istanbul) – Sham criminal proceedings against Amnesty International Turkey’s honorary chair Taner Kılıç and 10 other human rights defenders are set to resume on June 21, 2018, Human Rights Watch said. The rights…
Taner Kilic, head of Amnesty International Turkey, speaks at a conference.
News

Harsh Sentences for Cumhuriyet Staff in Politically Motivated Case

(Berlin) – The 14 journalists, staff, and board members of the Turkish- daily newspaper Cumhuriyet sentenced to prison on April 25, are being punished for doing their jobs, Human Rights Watch said today. “The convictions of Cumhuriyet…
Press freedom activists read opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet during a demonstration in solidarity with the jailed members of the newspaper outside a courthouse, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 28, 2017.
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Debate Silenced at Critical Moment

The Burundian government desperately wants an overwhelming win in next month’s constitutional referendum that will enable the president to extend his term in office. To do this, it must present the image of unity in the country – and open debate and…
Logo for Iwacu newspaper, "The voices of Burundi."
News

Detention, Prosecutions Over Criticisms of Turkish Army Actions in Syria

(Berlin) – Turkish authorities have detained and prosecuted large numbers of people in recent weeks over social media posts criticizing Turkey’s military operation in the northwest Syrian district of Afrin, Human Rights Watch said today. The…
Nurcan Baysal, journalist; Ali Erol, LGBT activist; Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, medical doctor;  Kutay  Meriç, executive member of rights group "Halkevleri" (from upper left corner clockwise)
News

Sentences for Journalists, Writers Emblematic of Media Crackdown

(Berlin) — Three Turkish journalists were convicted on February 16, 2018 on bogus charges related to the failed coup of 2016 and sentenced to life in prison, Human Rights Watch said today. They are the first journalists convicted of involvement in…
Writers and journalists Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, and Nazli Ilicak
News

State of Emergency Prolonged as Presidential Powers Increase

(Istanbul) – Turkey increased restrictions on the media, political opposition, and human rights defenders during 2017, on the back of a very narrow referendum, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2018. Turkey also introduced a…
A demonstration outside a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey in solidarity with the staff of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on trial over alleged support to terrorist groups, July 24, 2017.
News
Turkey’s intensified crackdown on human rights and the rule of law has targeted business interests in the country too, and should ring alarm bells for European companies and investors. Business associations representing them should convey their concerns…
Human rights defenders detained by police in Istanbul on July 5, 2017. From bottom left: Nalan Erkem; Nejat Taştan; İlknur Üstün, İdil Eser, Özlem Dalkıran, Günal Kurşun.
News

Journalists’ Trial Part of Vicious Crackdown on Independent Voices

A journalist prosecuted for allegedly helping a group which he spent years criticizing in his work. Emails received – but not answered – from people the government views as undesirables, and newspaper clippings presented as evidence of…
A demonstration outside a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey in solidarity with the staff of the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet on trial over alleged support to terrorist groups, July 24, 2017.
News

Police Detain 10, Including Amnesty Turkey Director, in Terrorism Investigation

  (Istanbul) – Ten human rights defenders detained on July 5, 2017, in Istanbul on alleged suspicion of membership of an armed organization should be released immediately, Human Rights Watch said today. Turkish police…
Human rights defenders detained by police in Istanbul on July 5, 2017. From bottom left: Nalan Erkem; Nejat Taştan; İlknur Üstün, İdil Eser, Özlem Dalkıran, Günal Kurşun.
News

Support Equal Rights, Reject Death Penalty

(Istanbul) – Turkey’s government and president should reverse the decision to extend the state of emergency after winning the April 16, 2017 presidential referendum and end the wave of political repression unleashed in the months before the vote, Human…
A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Ankara during the referendum, April 16, 2017.