Turkish government released four imprisoned journalists

Journalist associations, human rights organizations and international institutions including OSCE welcomed on Monday the release of four Turkish journalists from prison, including award-winning journalists Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik. Beside Sener and Sik Turkish government imprisoned under the same charges also Sait Cakir and Coskun Musluk.

These journalists were imprisoned as alleged members of Erganekon organization in March 2011. Erganekon organization is suspected to be wide range group of army, navy and other public personalities with addition of supposed terrorists joined together to overthrown Erdogan government.

According to first media reports, the court’s reasoning for the release was the probability of the crime’s qualification being subject to change and the time spent under arrest. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Dunja Mijatović, welcomed their release expressing her hope that trial will be finalized soon and the charges against journalists will be dropped.

“I’m very happy that the journalists are free. This is a long-awaited moment not only for them, their families and their loved ones, but for all of us who have been following their trial in and outside of Turkey. Democracy can not properly function without the right to free expression. I hope that very soon we will have positive news from the other ongoing trials against journalists”, said Mijatović in her statement on Monday.

Various Human rights groups have accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of repressing freedom of speech through a mixture of intimidation and arrests. According to their and Representative Mijatović statements several dozens of journalists by some accounts around 100 of them are imprisoned in Turkish jails awaiting on trail in some cases more than three years. In the past several international institutions including OSCE, as one of the major European institutions, offered help to the Erdogan’s government in effort to improve the state of human rights and freedom of speech but so far it seems that Erdogan’s government doesn’t care too much about that, power is more important.

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