Turkish regime threatens torture of British journalist

This video says about itself:

25 October 2016

After the botched coup attempt in Turkey, human rights groups quickly reported the ill-treatment of prisoners. The ruling AK party, however, blocked an independent investigation. DW portrays people whose accounts support those allegations of torture.

By James Tweedie in Britain:

Star reporter held by armed Turkish police

Thursday 11th May 2017

Sweeney cornered over anti-Erdogan articles

MORNING STAR reporter Steve Sweeney was detained for eight hours in Turkey on Tuesday after travelling there to interview victims of the army crackdown on majority-Kurdish cities.

Mr Sweeney and his companion were stopped at a police road checkpoint near the south-eastern city of Cizre on Tuesday.

He told the Star that when police realised they were journalists, they called in the army and anti-terrorist officers.

They were grilled by the roadside for five hours, surrounded by 16 heavily armed men and armoured vehicles.

Officers emptied their bags and photographed their notepads and books on Syria’s Kurdish north.

“They treated us like we were criminals or terrorists,” Mr Sweeney said.

Pointing to the headline on a Morning Star website article by Mr Sweeney — calling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “tyrant” — their interrogator said: “If you wrote something like that in Turkey you’d be arrested and tortured.”

The officer focused on Cambridge-born Mr Sweeney’s surname, asking him if he was from the north or south of Ireland and suggested he was a supporter of the IRA and the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

And he demanded to know why the reporter had changed his Twitter account to the “protected” setting half an hour earlier, saying he “was too late anyway.”

Ominously, the troops invited the pair for a “picnic” in the mountains across the border from PKK positions in Iraq.

The detainees were released after Mr Sweeney’s colleague contacted the British embassy in Turkey.

They were told it was “not safe” in the area and sent to Cizre to stay the night.

But the only open hotel in the devastated town was full so they drove on to nearby Silopi — where they were held for an other three hours at the police station and told to leave town early in the morning.

Journalists’ union NUJ president Tim Dawson welcomed the release of Mr Sweeney and his colleague. He said: “Sadly, Steve’s experience mirrors that of many in the media who are under attack daily by this regime which has jailed 150 journalists and closed down more than 150 media organisations since last year’s failed coup.

Mr Dawson said he was in Istanbul last week “and heard directly from members of the Turkish journalists’ union, Turkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi, about the attacks on journalists and a free press, as well as meetings [with] journalists who had served long prison sentences for trying to report fairly.”


One thought on “Turkish regime threatens torture of British journalist

  1. Pingback: Turkish regime arrests Amnesty International chairman | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s