EFJ condemns violence against journalists at #occupygezi protest

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today expressed its outrage at the extreme violence against journalists who covered the peaceful protest that started on 28 May in Istanbul, Turkey.

Several EFJ affiliates have tabled an urgent motion to the IFJ Congress  deploring the disproportionate use of force by the Turkish police against protestors and journalists covering the democratic movement called #occupygezi.

‘‘This is an unacceptable act by the Turkish government who blatantly ignored the rights of citizen to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression as guaranteed in Articles 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.'' said Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, the EFJ President.

‘‘We are particularly concerned about the excessive force used by the authorities to target journalists,'' Mogens Blicher Bjerregård said.

The EFJ has learned that journalists, Ahmet ??k, Ismail Afacan and Selçuk Samioglu, were seriously injured as a result of the firing of tear gas by the police while covering the protest; some journalists were detained by the police and are facing legal action which has been launched by the police.

The EFJ called on its Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to release all journalists arrested in the protest during their reporting and drop the charges.

The EFJ expressed further concern over Erdogan's comment on the impact of social networks such as Twitter, as a ‘‘threat to society''.

In the coming days, the EFJ affiliates will ask delegates at the World Congress to convey solidarity with journalists working in such draconian conditions in Turkey.

For more information, please contact IFJ on + 32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries