Can Dündar faces life imprisonment

Can Dündar faces life imprisonment

Can Dündar faces life imprisonment for informing the public!

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been clamping down methodically on the media in Turkey for years, first as prime minister and now as president. The persecution of journalists across the political spectrum is growing in ferocity and includes arrests, threats and intimidation – all actions unworthy of a democracy.

His victims include Can Dündar, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, and Dündar’s Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gül, who were jailed on the evening of 26 November for publishing evidence in May 2015 of arms deliveries by the Turkish intelligence services to Islamist groups in Syria.

Both are exemplars of journalism, the search for truth and the defence of freedoms. Cumhuriyet was awarded the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Prize in the media category in 2015.

“Dündar will pay for this” President Erdogan said in a public statement, referring to the story on arms deliveries. But Cumhuriyet’s journalists just did their job, publishing information in the public interest. At a time when jihadism is at the centre of everyone’s concerns, it is unacceptable that political prosecutions are used to suppress investigative reporting.

As a result of an energetic campaign both in Turkey and internationally, Dündar and Gül were freed on 25 February, after the Constitutional Court ruled that their provisional detention violated their fundamental rights. The campaign has borne fruit but it cannot stop here. They are still facing possible life sentences (with no provision for a pardon) on charges of spying and complicity in terrorism.

The trial will begin on 25 March. RSF will be there, at the side of these two information heroes.

Together, public figures, citizens, media freedom NGOs and unions, let us send a strong message to President Erdogan. Let us call on him to drop all charges against Dündar and Gül.

Let us call on institutions and governments to accept their duty to respond to the Erdogan regime’s increasingly authoritarian excesses.

Let us urge the Turkish authorities to free all journalists who are detained in connection with their reporting or the opinions they have expressed, and let us take a stand against the flagrant degradation of media freedom in Turkey.


Reporters sans frontières
Comité de protection des journalistes
PEN International
International Press Institute
Association mondiale des journaux
Index on Censorship
World Press Freedom Comittee
Fédération internationale des journalistes
Fédération européenne des journalistes
Ethical Journalism Network
Global Editors Network
Association des journalistes de Turquie
Union des journalistes de Turquie
DISK Basin­İşsss
Association des journalistes européens
Günter Wallraff
Journaliste, Allemagne
Noam Chomsky
Linguiste, Etats­-Unis
Edgar Morin
Sociologue, France
Carl Bernstein
Journaliste, Etats­-Unis
Zülfü Livaneli
Écrivain, Turquie
Ali Dilem
Caricaturiste, Algérie
Thomas Piketty
Économiste, France
Claudia Roth
Femme politique, Allemagne
Paul Steiger
Journaliste, Etats­-Unis
Kamel Labidi
Journaliste, Tunisie
John R McArthur
Dirigeant de médias, Etats-­Unis
Fazil Say
Pianiste, Turquie
Peter Price
Dirigeant de médias, Etats-­Unis
Edwy Plenel
Dirigeant de médias, France
Jim Hoagland
Journaliste, Etats-­Unis
Ahmet İnsel
Politologue, Turquie
Eric Chol
Directeur de rédaction, France
Nedim Gürsel
Écrivain, Turquie
Cem Özdemir
Co­président du Parti Vert, Allemagne
Hakan Günday
Écrivain, Turquie
Mikis Theodorakis
Compositeur, Grèce
Dmitry Mouratov
Journaliste, Russie
Per Westberg
Écrivain, Suède
Louise Belfrage
Journaliste, Suède
Ali Anouzla
Journaliste, Maroc
John Hughes
Journaliste, Etats-­Unis
Omar Bellouchet
Journaliste, Algérie
Jack Lang
Ancien ministre, France
Omar Brouksy
Journaliste, Maroc
Pierre Haski
Journaliste, France
James Schwab
Dirigeant de médias, Etats-­Unis
Jay Weissberg
Critique de cinéma, Etats-­Unis
Harald Stanghelle
Directeur de rédaction, Norvège
Jean Daniel
Journaliste, France
Khadija Ryadi
Militante des droits de l’homme, Maroc
Mokhtar Trifi
Militant des droits de l’homme, Tunisie
Maati Monjib
Historien, Maroc
Nadia Salah
Directrice de rédaction, Maroc
Gilles Raymond
Dirigeant de médias, France
Bertrand Pecquerie
Dirigeant d’organisation, France
James Schwab
Dirigeant de médias, Etats-Unis
John Hughes
Journaliste, Etats-­Unis
Margie Orford
Président de PEN Afrique du Sud
Mandla Langa
Vice-Président Exécutif de PEN Afrique du Sud
Raymond Louw
Vice-Président de PEN Afrique du Sud