Journalism is Not a Crime
Human Rights, Peace, Democracy and Law, 02/11/2017
“We need our freedom!” On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, we honour Khadija Ismayilova, Cumhuriyet and all brave journalists around the globe who through their daily work are fighting to uphold Freedom of Expression and a Free Press. This song, performed by Kristin Amparo at the Vasa Museum during last year’s Award Presentation, is for you.
Khadija Ismayilova received the 2017 Right Livelihood Award “for her courage and tenacity in exposing corruption at the highest levels of government through outstanding investigative journalism in the name of transparency and accountability”. Instead of celebrating Ismayilova’s important contributions to justice in her home country, the Azeri government has responded to her reports with smear campaigns and fabricated criminal charges. She is currently under a travel ban and has been denied permission to travel to Stockholm to receive her well deserved award on 1 December.
The Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet received the 2016 Right Livelihood Award “for their fearless investigative journalism and commitment to freedom of expression in the face of oppression, censorship, imprisonment and death threats”. A year has passed since 17 Cumhuriyet journalists were arrested. if found guilty, they face the prospect of up to 43 years imprisonment for “aiding a terrorist organisation”. Four of them: Murat Subuncu, Akin Atalay, Ahmet Sik, and Emre Iper are still in detention at Silivri Maximum Security Prison. The collapse of the Cumhuriyet trial explained in 11 minutes and 15 seconds
Journalism is not a crime.