The Erased font


Dicle Müftüoğlu
  • CountryTurkey

I was detained during a police raid on my house on April 29, 2023. I was detained in Diyarbakır for a few hours and then taken to Ankara by bus, handcuffed, without receiving any food. Even this journey, which took 16 hours, was torture in itself. When I arrived, they kept me in handcuffs all day, even though this is illegal. Then I was kept in isolation in a cell for four days, and a 24-hour lawyer restriction was imposed. 

When I appeared before the judge, my journalistic activities and my activities as a citizen were criminalised. I was portrayed as a member of an illegal organisation through secret and open witness statements, a lawless tool used more and more in Turkey. The real purpose was to prevent me from doing journalism and human rights advocacy. I was detained for 10 months.

Journalists in Turkey in general are working under great pressure. We all know that we can be arrested at any time for any reason. Police and judicial harassment is a symptom of this. Every news article we make about the Kurdish issue is portrayed as a crime to the state. Working for the Mezopotamya Agency, which reports on this issue, and being a manager at the Dicle Fırat Journalists’ Association, where Kurdish journalists organise and fight together for freedom of expression, made me a target of the state.

The case against me still continues. Even though I was released at the third hearing, the charges have not been dropped and a prison sentence of up to 34 years is still hanging above my head. Resul Temur, who is also the lawyer of our association, undertakes my defence. 

Of course it is difficult to keep performing journalism under such judicial harassment, but every time we do not write the truth in this country, it gives room to more power abuse. We have a responsibility to highlight the violations that occur here to the world. So I keep doing my job with the support of the agency I work for and the Dicle Fırat Journalists' Association.

"Governments try to silence journalists to hide the true facts. So censorship is like a curtain drawn over the truth. It keeps people in darkness. And eliminating this darkness is only possible when we fight against censorship and protect the truth together. For us journalists, true freedom is the truth reaching the whole world. The greatest support would be to express solidarity to journalists, and to make my case, and those of all journalists who are on trial, known to the public." 

—Dicle Müftüoğlu

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