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The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe has published a report revealing that there are currently 57 journalists imprisoned in Turkey. This is more than any other country. The figures in the report come from the findings of the Freedom for Journalists platform, which represents local and national media organisations in Turkey. The report also states that a further ten journalists are awaiting trial. The EU are planning a special conference in Brussels next month to discuss freedom of expression in Turkey.
A Turkish court rejected an application for the provisional release of reporters Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener on Thursday. They were arrested on 3 March during raids relating to the alleged Ergenekon plot. They will now be imprisoned pending trial on the charge of belonging to a “terrorist organisation”.
Thousands of people gathered in the centre of Istanbul on Sunday to protest against the imprisonment of journalists Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener. The reporters were detained as part of an official crackdown over the alleged Ergenekon plot. The demonstration was organised by the Freedom for Journalists platform (GÖP) to highlight the abuse of press freedom in Turkey. They are also campaigning for changes to national laws, in particular the Turkish Criminal Law.
Tursunjan Hezim, Uighur editor of well known website Bilik, has reportedly been given a seven-year prison sentence. The sentence was handed down for unknown charges at a secret trial in July 2010, but has only been made public now. Hezim had been in detention at a secret location since 2009, after ethnic riots broke out in the Chinese north-western region of Xinjiang.