Van Bommel: Turkish journalists deserve freedom

27 January 2016

Van Bommel: Turkish journalists deserve freedom

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel has reacted with shock to the tough demands for punishment lodged in Turkey against two journalists from the newspaper Cumhuriyet. Commenting on the demand, Van Bommel says: ‘The journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül have carried out brave journalistic work, but the public prosecutor in Turkey is demanding double life sentences and thirty years in prison for them. That’s unacceptable.’

During the summer, in the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, the two published a photo report on Turkey’s delivery of weapons to armed fighters in Syria, a delivery which took place early in 2014. According to many analysts this shipment was intended for ISIS. In November of last year the journalists were arrested, since which journalists’ organisations have been demanding their release on the grounds that they are being held simply for doing their jobs.

‘It’s long been known that Turkey misuses anti-terrorism legislation, as well as other things – to shut the mouths of critics,’ says Van Bommel. ‘That seems to be the case here too. For that reason I’ve asked our Foreign Minister Bert Koenders to speak out in support of the journalists’ groups and demand that the two Turkish journalists be immediately released and charges against them dropped.’

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