Contribution to UN Special Rapporteur’s Thematic Report on Journalists in Exile to the presented to the Human Rights Council, 56th Session
Submitted on January 15, 2024

The present contribution is respectfully submitted by the Journalists and Writers Foundation and the International Journalists Association following the call for submissions from the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, to inform the Special Rapporteur’s thematic report on journalists in exile, which will be presented to the 56th session of HRC in 2024.

This contribution provides information on undue restrictions, pressure, and persecution facing hundreds of Turkish journalists in exile, including physical and online threats and attacks, surveillance from Türkiye, arrest warrants, extradition requests, Interpol notices on bogus terrorism-related offenses, unlawful asset seizures, and restrictions of their freedom of movement.

An Analysis of WGEID Report (A/HRC/48/57) on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances by the Government of Turkey
October 2021

The report of the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) contained in document A/HRC/48/57, was presented during the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council, held from September 13 – October 1, 2021, in Geneva, Switzerland. The report focuses in particular on enforced disappearances in the context of transnational transfers, which encompass extraterritorial abductions and forced returns, including expulsions, often undertaken in undercover operations in cooperation between two or more States, on the pretext of combating terrorism and protecting national security.

The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances firmly criticizes the conclusion of bilateral security cooperation agreements with the Government of Turkey, which often contain broad and vague references to combating terrorism and transnational crime, in order to facilitate transnational transfer operations. In almost all the instances reported to the Working Group, the arrests seem to have been carried out without any legal basis; the arresting officers did not identify themselves; no arrest warrants were presented; no explanations were provided to clarify or justify the arrests; the persons were taken by force from their home or in the street; and in a number of cases, they were blindfolded, hooded and handcuffed