Vienna, 25 September 2017 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) has expressed deep concern regarding the state and deterioration of media freedom in Turkey.
SEEMO previously expressed criticism for the actions of Spanish authorities, after their 3 August arrest of Swedish-Turkish journalist Hamza Yalcin (Hamza Yalçin). He was arrested after his holiday at the Barcelona airport in compliance with an international detention order requested by Turkey for “terrorist propaganda”. Yalcin, who has a Swedish and Turkish citizenship and leaves since 1984 in Sweden is still in detention in Spain. Authorities in Spain were asked not to give in to the demands of Turkey but instead to release the journalist and grant him the necessary protection in order to avoid deportation.
SEEMO welcomes news that Baltasar Garzon (Baltasar Garzón), former member of Spain’s National High Court, decided to offer pro bono defense for Yalcin. The International Baltasar Garzon Foundation (Fibgar) now represents Hamza Yalcin through the ILOCAD law firm and states that the detention violates the journalist’s basic rights and freedoms. Nine Swedish members of the European Parliament have written to the authorities in Madrid, demanding the release of Yalcin.
SEEMO repeats its appeal to the Spanish authorities not to extradite Hamza Yalçin to Turkey
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.