As some 200 people assembled in London on Saturday, 20 January at the conference organised by Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT), Turkish war planes launched air strikes on Afrin, one of the three Kurdish cantons in Northern Syria. It marked the launch of a military operation with the support of the Free Syrian Army and cynically named operation ‘Olive Branch’.
Turkey’s justice system was plunged into confusion last Thursday after two criminal courts defied an order by the country’s highest court to release two jailed journalists. Last Thursday the constitutional court ruled that the pre-trial detention of Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay violated their right to freedom of expression and said they should be released from Silivri prison. But hours later two separate Istanbul penal courts said they could not implement the decision because they had not been notified of the ruling.
Global media freedom is at its lowest level for ten years according to a study by a freedom of expression organisation Article 19. The study was undertaken with the social science database V-Dem to launch a unique, authoritative assessment of freedom of expression and information worldwide. It examined the state of freedom of expression in 172 countries.
The report points out that, “The United Kingdom has passed one of the most draconian surveillance legislation of any democracy, offering a template for authoritarian regimes and seriously undermining the rights of its citizens to privacy and freedom of expression.” Continue reading Press freedom plunges world-wide