Skip to main content

MLSA Annual Trial Monitoring Report: Systematic Violations of Freedom of Expression, Press and Assembly in Turkey Continue to Increase

The annual trial monitoring report of the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), which has been monitoring freedom of expression trials since 2018 and which currently has the biggest trial monitoring programme in Turkey, has been published.

According to the report, journalists continued to be tried in terrorism cases in which their news articles and social media posts were cited as evidence for the charges. In the report, it is also stated that there is an increase in the lawsuits opened against those who had participated in peaceful demonstrations and protests. The report also highlights that prosecutors and first degree courts disregard the judgments of the Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

The report also draws attention to the radical increase recorded in the prison sentences imposed in freedom of expression trials.

800 people were tried for having attended peaceful protests and demonstrations 

According to the report, 800 people were tried for having attended peaceful protests and demonstrations as per their rights guaranteed in Article 34th of the Constitution. Among those who faced the charge of “defying the Law no.2911 on Demonstrations and Assemblies” were 328 activists including Saturday Mothers/People and 285 students who were tried in 9 separate cases which were opened because of the protests initiated after President Erdoğan’s appointments of rectors to the Boğaziçi University. 

In the report, it is also shared that in some cases, the prosecutors cited the arbitrary demonstration and protest bans of district or provincial governorships and the demonstration bans imposed by the Provincial Public Health Boards during the pandemic in order to prove that the demonstrations and protests cited in the indictments were “unlawful.”

You can read the report here.

İlgili Eğitim