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PEN International launches database on over 110 journalists imprisoned in Turkey

Friday 20 December 2019 - 10:50am

Turkey remains the biggest jailer of journalists in the world

'At least 117 journalists are currently behind bars in Turkey. These are more than just numbers. They are people with families whose lives have been shattered simply for peacefully expressing their views. No one should be imprisoned for exercising their right to freedom of expression’, said Aaliya Ahmed, International Programmes Director at PEN International.

Freedom of expression in Turkey continues to deteriorate. Independent media has been all but wiped out and at least 117 journalists are languishing behind bars, making Turkey the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.

Access to thousands of websites and platforms has been limited after the government triggered a state of emergency decree to authorise government removals and blockings of websites without judicial oversight.

On 30 November 2019, PEN International and English PEN co-organised a workshop that notably aimed at highlighting the plight of imprisoned journalists in Turkey, and led to the creation of a database of their detailed profiles.

Data was aggregated from sources including Bianet, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Press Institute, the Media and Law Studies Association, Platform 24 and its affiliate Expression Interrupted. Data, where available, covers biographical details, charges against the journalist, as well as details of arrest, trial and detention.

You can download the database here.

For more information, please contact Aurélia Dondo, Europe Programme Coordinator at