RESOLUTION OF THE FREEDOM TO PUBLISH COMMITTEE OF THE INTERNATIONAL PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION (IPA)
Frankfurt, 4 October 2006
Ways to address the tightening of Freedom of _Expression Conditions in Turkey Immediate acquittal of publisher Ragip Zarakolu on 5 October 2006
• Observing that it is now beyond doubt that Article 301 of the new Turkish Penal Code is used to suppress the right to freedom of _expression as spelled out in the UN International Covenant Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the European Convention on Human Rights, to which Turkey is a party.
• Considering that defamation laws cannot be justified if their purpose or effect is to protect the “reputations” of entities other than those which have the right to sue and to be sued.
• Reiterating its full support for Turkish publishers currently facing unnecessary court trials, making it impracticable for them to continue their publishing activity.
• Regarding the series of long, time-consuming and expensive court hearings as a form of harassment and punishment for daring to produce works which touch on sensitive issues, and as a deterrent against future publications.
The IPA Freedom to Publish Committee urges the Turkish authorities to :
1. Repeal Article 301 of the Penal Code, as well as Law 5816,
2. Remove once and for all any articles that can be used to suppress the rights as enshrined under Article 19 of the ICCPR and Article 10 of the ECHR,
3. Drop all the charges against publishers and writers who have expressed or helped express non violent opinions, in particular publisher Ragip Zarakolu (Belge publishing) who will be tried under Article 301 on 5 October 2006 for two publications by Jerjian and Sakayan.
The above resolution was adopted unanimously by the freedom to publish committee of the International Publishers Association meeting in Frankfurt on Wednesday, 4 October 2006.
For more information, please contact :
Alexis Krikorian Director, Freedom to Publish International Publishers Association (IPA) Cell : + 41 79 214 5530 ; e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
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