Bij de aanvang van het proces tegen de Turkse journalist Perihan Magden zegt Joost Lagendijk, co-voorzitter van de EP-delegatie Turkije, de Turkse autoriteiten de wacht aan. Er moet beter worden gewerkt aan de democratische hervormingen anders worden de toetredingsonderhandelingen wel zeer moeilijk.
Trial of Turkish journalist underlines absence of fundamental freedoms in Turkey
Commenting on the opening of a high-profile court case against the Turkish journalist Perihan Magden (1) in Turkey today, Green MEP Joost Lagendijk, Co-President of the EU-Turkey joint parliamentary committee , said:
“The opening of the trial against Perihan Magden today marks the latest in a line of legal proceedings, which underline the persisting concerns about the freedom of expression and of the media, and the limited nature of judicial reform in Turkey (2).
“Journalists or writers should not face imprisonment for merely expressing their opinion and certainly not for highlighting international human rights norms, as Ms Magden has done.
“The continuing failure of the Turkish government to guarantee basic human rights and to introduce meaningful judicial reforms will only serve to hamper accession negotiations. If Turkey wants to make progress towards membership, the government must champion those values that underpin the EU, including the right to conscientious objection.”
"I will write a letter to the Ministers of Justice and Defence to call on them to present as soon as possible a proposal that would offer an alternative to compulsory military service in Turkey."
(1) Perihan Magden is standing trial accused of trying to turn Turks against compulsory military service by arguing that conscientious objection is a human right. The complaint was filed against her by the Turkish military. The trial has been adjourned until July 27, so the prosecution can build up its case. If convicted, she could face up to 3 years in prison.
(2) Other ongoing procedures include those against journalists Murat Belge and Hasip Kaplan.