Index on Censorship welcomes the release of journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül after Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that their rights had been violated by their arrest. Index strongly reiterates its call for Turkish authorities to drop all charges against the pair.
Dündar, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, and his Ankara bureau chief, Gül, had been held since the evening of 26 November. They are charged with spying and terrorism because last May they published evidence of arms deliveries by the Turkish intelligence services to Islamist groups in Syria.
The arrests of the two journalists underscored extreme lengths that the government of Turkish president Recep Erdogan had taken to stifle dissent and restrict access to information. In the past 12 months, there have been 106 verified violations of media freedom reported to Index on Censorship’s Mapping Media Freedom project.