Journalist Ahmet Altan, who was kept in detention like many other journalists and representatives of media organisations in Turkey, was re-arrested yesterday, only a week after his release, on the grounds that there was a flight risk. He had not even been served the decision when some media were already reporting on it.
The lack of credible grounds to re-arrest Ahmet Altan and his renewed imprisonment, reversing the court’s initial decision to release him, further damages the credibility of Turkey’s judiciary, in particular due to the high level of political interference. This interference needs to halt.
Media freedom and freedom of expression are key to a functioning democracy. The EU has at all levels and in all fora expressed its opposition on the persistent erosion of press freedom in Turkey and, in particular, at the high number of journalists imprisoned there. Journalists need to do their job – they do not belong in jail.