Parisian street artist joins RSF in campaign for jailed Turkish journalists

Backed by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the well-known Parisian street artist C215 will use stencils to repeatedly paint the faces of ten imprisoned Turkish journalists across the urban landscape in several Parisian districts on next weekend, May 27 and 28, in a show of solidarity with all journalists detained in Turkey.

"Turkey is now the world's biggest prison for journalists with dozens in pre-trial detention in harsh conditions on absurd charges," RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. "Thanks to the talent of Christian Guémy, better know as C215, we are going to use the Parisian public space to display the faces of those that Erdoğan wants to silence. It is a way to show they are not forgotten, and to get the public and decision-makers to support them. It is an unusual operation born of a union between RSF's campaigning and the concerns of an artist whose stencil techniques make it possible for a powerful message to reach a wide public."


More than 500 #SaveTurkishJournalists stencils will also be distributed in Paris with the aim of allowing anyone to use them to show their solidarity and support for journalists imprisoned in Turkey.

Turkish media freedom's death throes

With more than 140 media outlets closed, more than 700 press cards rescinded and more than 100 journalists in prison, Turkey’s media and journalists have been subjected to an unprecedented crackdown since a state of emergency was declared in July 2016.

On 15 May, Oğuz Güven became the 12th employee of the opposition daily Cumhuriyet to be jailed in Istanbul. The trial of RSF’s Turkey representative, Erol Önderoğlu, will resume on 8 June. He is facing a possible 14-year jail sentence on a charge of terrorist propaganda.

Other upcoming trials of journalists:

  • 19 June: Start of the trial of Ahmet Altan and his brother, also a journalist.
  • 6 July: Resumption of the trial of Murat Aksoy and 28 fellow journalists.
  • 24 July: Start of the trial of Musa Kart, Kadri Gürsel, Ahmet Şık and their Cumhuriyet colleagues.
  • 18 September: Start of the trial of Şahin Alpay and 29 other journalists

Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

Portraits of 10 emblematic journalists

C215 used the following photos to create the stencil portraits that will be painted on the streets of Paris next weekend (27-28 May).

About C215

The artist C215 / Credit: Sylvain Lefeuvre

Christian Guémy is a leading Parisian street artist who is well known for his stencil work under the moniker of C125. He began painting in 2006, concentrating on portraits. He is politically committed and uses his work to comment on social issues and news developments. His latest show, “La mauvaise réputation” (Bad Rap), opened last weekend at the Galerie Openspace in Paris and will continue until 1 July.

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Updated on 26.05.2017