UNHRC: Önderoğlu, Nesin, and Korur Fincancɪ must be released

Joint Oral Statements

HRC 32 – Item 4: Situations requiring the Council’s attention

22 June 2016

Reporters without borders


PEN International


International Federation of Journalists

European Federation of Journalists

International Press Institute

Reporters Without Borders is stunned by the arrest of its representative in Turkey, Erol Önderoğlu, placed in pre-trial detention by an Istanbul court on 20th June 2016, along with two of his colleagues.

Erol Önderoğlu, Ahmet Nesin and Sebnem Korur Fincancɪ are accused of “terrorist propaganda” for having taken part in a solidarity campaign with the Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem. Along with fourty other intellectuals, they had been taking turns to symbolically assume the role of the newspaper’s editor who is the target of numerous prosecutions.

After being questioned by a prosecutor on June 20th, Önderoğlu and his two colleagues were immediately referred to an Istanbul judge, who ordered they be placed in pre-trial detention.

Erol Önderoğlu is being prosecuted on the basis of three articles published by Özgür Gündem on 18 May about power struggles within the various Turkish security forces and the ongoing operations against Kurdish rebels in south-eastern Anatolia.

RSF’s representative in Turkey since 1996, Önderoğlu compiles quarterly/triennial reports on the state of freedom of expression in Turkey for the Bianet news website. He is a member of the board of IFEX (the International Freedom of Expression Exchange) and often works with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and several other international organizations.

RSF demands the immediate and unconditional release of its representative and his two colleagues. The organisation calls for the withdrawal of all charges against him and other participants of this solidarity campaign.

*Delivered on behalf of a further 25 non-ECOSOC NGOs.

Committee to Protect Journalists                                               

PEN Afrikaans

Ethical Journalism Network

PEN Russia


PEN Finland

European Centre for Press and Media Freedom

PEN Canada

Index on Censorship

PEN South Africa

Global Editors Network

PEN Czech Republic

Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS)

PEN Català

PEN Japan

PEN Portugal

PEN Norway

PEN Germany

PEN Turkey

PEN Bangladesh

PEN America

PEN Denmark

PEN Trieste

PEN San Miguel, Mexico

English PEN