Access Block by Court Order Reported to Council of Europe by IFJ

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  • August 7, 2019
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Click to read the article in Turkish

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) have denounced the “outrageous decision” of the Ankara 3rd Penal Court of Peace, imposing an access block on 136 website and social media accounts including bianet.

The IFJ and EFJ have also taken the court order to the Council of Europe (CoE). The court order in question has been reported to the CoE Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists.

‘No state reply yet’

The court order has been shared on the “Media Freedom Alerts” page of the CoE with the note “No state reply yet.”

The following information has been shared on the page:

“On 16 July 2019, the 3rd Peace Judge at Ankara, ordered the blocking of access to 136 internet resources, including “bianet” and “Gazete Fersude” news portals, under Article 8/A of the Internet Act relating to grounds of “national security”.

“The ban targets 15 websites and dozens of social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest. It prevents access to at least 200,000 news stories on “bianet”, which has been broadcasting since November 2000.

“The main journalists’ organisations in Turkey (TGS, TGC, DISK Press, CGD) have criticized the order as being unlawful and arbitrary.”

’15 websites, dozens of social media accounts targeted’

After a statement released by the EFJ yesterday (August 6), the IFJ has also shared the following information on its website:

“Ankara 3rd Peace Judge decided on 16 July to block access to 136 internet resources, including bianet and Gazete Fersude news portals, on the basis of “national security” (article 8/A of Internet Law).

“The ban targets 15 websites and dozens of social media accounts (on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest).

“The court’s unjustified ruling prevents access to at least 200,000 news stories which has been broadcasting on bianet since November 2000.

“The court decision was unanimously condemned yesterday as an arbitrary and unlawful decision by the IFJ/EFJ affiliates in Turkey (TGS, TGC, DISK Basin-Is).

‘We stand in solidarity with our colleagues’

“The IFJ/EFJ reported the case to the Council of Europe Platform for the Protection of Journalism.

“IFJ General secretary Anthony Bellanger said: ‘This is an act of censorship and a big blow to press freedom and democracy. We stand in solidarity with colleagues in Turkey and demand the order be lifted”.

“EFJ General Secretary Ricardo Gutiérrez said: ‘This massive act of censorship is totally arbitrary and unjustified. We demand the immediate review of this outrageous judicial decision’.” (PT/SD)