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Credits: Imad Alassiry  su Unsplash

Case Overview: A Miscarriage of Justice

Müftüoğlu’s arrest occurred during a broader crackdown on Kurdish activists and politicians by the Ankara Prosecutor’s Office in April 2023. The circumstances of her detention, including her transfer to Ankara and the conditions therein, have raised serious concerns about her treatment and the respect for due process.

In court, the charges against Müftüoğlu have not been substantiated by any credible evidence. Her case is a textbook example of severe legal intimidation used to silence journalists who are critical of the government.

Investigative and Legal Irregularities

The investigation into Ms. Müftüoğlu’s activities has been marked by flagrant legal irregularities:

  • Restriction of access to legal counsel and investigation files.
  • Interrogation without legal representation, in clear violation of legal norms.
  • Inhumane treatment during her transfer, including prolonged handcuffing and deprivation of basic needs.

The indictment itself is deeply flawed, dedicating only a small portion to Müftüoğlu and failing to provide any substantial evidence of her involvement in terrorist activities. Instead, it inappropriately conflates her journalistic work with terrorism, using her association with the Mesopotamia News Agency and attendance at public events as supposed evidence of wrongdoing.

As the undersigned organisations we call upon the authorities in Turkey to immediately release Dicle Müftüoğlu and drop all charges against her. We call upon the international community, media freedom, journalism and human rights organisations to join us in condemning this unjust detention and to urge Turkey to uphold its commitments to media freedom and human rights.

Signed by:

  • Medya ve Hukuk Çalışmaları Derneği (MLSA)
  • FIDH, within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  • Free Press Unlimited (FPU)
  • European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)
  • European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) 
  • OBC Transeuropa (OBCT)
  • South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO)
  • International Press Institute (IPI)
  • Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS)
  • Danish PEN
  • P24 Platform for Independent Journalism
  • PEN Norway
  • World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  • PEN America
  • PEN International 
  • Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
  • Freedom House
  • Articolo 21
  • Association of Lawyers for Freedom (ÖHD)
Tags: Turkey Safety of journalists Legal protection

This content is part of the Media Freedom Rapid Response  (MFRR), a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. The project is co-funded by the European Commission.