Call to Turkish PM to release journalist Mehmet Baransu without an answer

Call to Turkish PM to release journalist Mehmet Baransu without an answer

Baransu, a correspondent for Taraf newspaper has been in custody for more than 11 months. While it is known he is being accused of offences tantamount to handling documents affecting state security, no details on the charges are being disclosed.

At the beginning of February, the leading investigative journalists appealed to the Turkish prime minister to drop charges against their imprisoned colleague. The letter refers to the arrest as a use of pre-trial punishment for charges that cannot stand. The signatories are academics and journalists who have contributed to a well-received anthology of investigative journalism entitled Global Muckraking: 100 Years of Investigative Journalism. These include Adam Hochschild, author of King Leopold’s Ghost, and P. Sainath, the award winning Indian journalist who wrote about rural famine. In the same volume from 2009, Mehmet Baransu documented the Turkish military’s attempt to cover up the death of four soldiers, the result of one being forced to hold a live grenade as punishment for sleeping on duty. His article is mentioned in the letter as an example of a state institution being held accountable by the very headlines it was used to manipulating.”  

To this date, there is no official response to the letter. Baransu is still held imprisoned and the charges against him remain unclear.

The full letter is available here.

Media Integrity