Dr. Kamal Sido, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and nationalities specialist at the Society for reatened Peoples (STP), Middle East advisor to the STP
It is disgusting to silence media professionals with threats, extortion or even murder. It is also unacceptable the state presidents refusing to tolerate the criticism of their policies, as a result persecuiting the media workers and putting them in jail for years
“The violence on the streets must end. e authorities are not allowed to protect the perpetrators.”
Th is sentence is from the last interview that Hisham al-Hashimi gave to UTV. A short time later, on the evening of July 6, 2020, the 47-year-old Iraqi journalist and extremism expert was shot by at least one assassin in front of his home in the Zayouna district of the Iraqi capital. Seriously injured, Hashimi was taken to hospital, where he died from his wounds. Previously, Hashimi had received many death threats from both radical Sunni and Shiite groups. Th ey have been fighting each other for years in Iraq and many other countries. Critical media professionals are among their common enemies. Hisham al-Hashimi was threatened and probably also murdered for researching and publicly reporting on the lawlessness and impunity in Iraq.
It is abhorrent to silence media professionals with threats, extortion or even murder. It is also unacceptable when heads of state persecute media workers and have them thrown into prison for years because they refuse to tolerate criticism of their policies. So does Turkish President Erdogan with critical journalists, for example. Th e head of the Samanyolu broadcasting group, Hidayet Karaca, has been in custody in Turkey since December 2014 just
for doing his job as a journalist. He is one of 2,000 media professionals in Turkish prisons. Kurdish journalist Nedim Türfen from Van is not in a better
position. He has been imprisoned since 2018 for reporting on the crimes of the security forces against the population in Turkish Kurdistan and for campaigning for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. He hasn’t even received his indictment to date. Th e way the Turkish judiciary deals with the journalist and writer Ahmet Altan is similar. He is 70 years old and was sentenced to life imprisonment on February 16, 2018. He is in custody since 2016.
On the “International Day of Press Freedom” on 3rd of May, the Th e Society for Th reatened Peoples published with the active support of the International Journalists Association a memorandum in which we demanded the release of all media professionals in Turkey.
Today, on the occasion of the “International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists”, on the 2nd of November, we remember media professionals who are imprisoned or lost their lives in Turkey and around the world.