May 3, 2023– The Alliance for Shared Values (AFSV) joins the United Nations (UN) and the international community in commemorating the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day. Freedom of the press is integral to fostering a society that respects human rights, yet it is increasingly under attack today.
Under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the number of journalists imprisoned in Turkey doubled between 2021 and 2022. For the past several years, Turkey has been among the top jailers of journalists in the world, in the company of notorious authoritarian regimes. This year, Turkey has imprisoned, detained, or harassed dozens of journalists for reporting or commenting on the earthquakes that devastated the country and tragically resulted in more than 45,000 deaths. We strongly condemn the Erdogan regime’s suppression of journalists and free speech.
With general elections for president set to take place this month, the stakes for fair and free press coverage of the election could not be higher. It is critically important that the Erdogan administration does not interfere with media coverage of the presidential candidates, their policies, or the election results.
Hizmet participants are committed to upholding all human rights and freedoms expressed in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, especially press freedom. Hizmet volunteers have long worked to organize panels, seminars, and educational programs to encourage civic engagement and freedom of expression. Today is an opportunity for everybody to recommit to protecting and expanding press freedom for journalists everywhere.
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