INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO FREE TURKISH JOURNALIST MEMIK HORUZ
An international campaign has been launched calling for the release of the Memik Horuz managing editor of a Turkish newspaper Ozgur Gelecek (Free Future). His is one of the worst cases of victimisation of a journalist in Turkey where the government is currently using the country's Penal Code and Anti-terrorist law to conduct a massive clampdown on media freedoms.
Memik Horuz, held in Sincan prison in Ankara, has been detained since 18 June 2001. He was arrested in Cemberlitas, Istabul by the Turkish state security forces and charged with interviewing a guerrilla leader. This charge was subsequently dropped but he is now charged with belonging to a banned organisation. His case will now come before the courts on 18 March. He has been subjected to sleep deprivation and is kept blindfold much of the time.
Memik Horuz is married, the father of two children. He has worked for Ozgur Gelecek since 1993 and is one of many left journalists in Turkey to suffer frequent harassment and intimidation. He spent several years in prison in the1980s. On 2 April last year, before his latest arrest, he was detained, strip-searched and interrogated at the Istanbul security headquarters when he went to apply for a passport.
The world-wide campaign for the release of Memik Horuz is being mounted jointly by the International League of People's Struggle (ILPS), the international organisation of which he is deputy chairperson, People’s Right Watch-Belgium (PRW) and International Association of People’s Lawyers (IAPL). It is co-ordinated from Brussels.
The campaign has organised a special delegation of foreign observers to attend the court hearing on 18 March. Supporters meetings are being held in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, UK, India, the Philippines, the US, … Petitions demanding the release of Memik Horuz are being sent to the Turkish Interior Ministry and Justice Ministry.
A spokesperson for the campaign.....said 'The throwing out of the charges against Noam Chomsky's Turkish publisher last month shows that the Turkish government is sensitive to international attention. We want to make sure that it does not get away with persecuting Memik Horuz or any other journalist in Turkey trying to do their job’.
A press conference is being held at : Date: 11 March Time: 11.OO am Place: ‘Greenwich café’- Rue des Chartreux 5, 1000 Brussel Tel: 02/5114167
Memik Horuz' lawyer is Filiz Kalayci, Address: Ilkiz Sk. No 26/12 Sihhye, ANKARA. Tel/fax +90 312 229 0946. Mobile +90 532 672 6684.
For further information:
Dr. Anne Van Mackelenbergh (Campaign Coordinator), People's Rights Watch Belgium, Broederminstraat 42, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium
International Campaign to Free Memik Horuz c/o ILPS, Postbus 1452, 3500 BL Utrecht, The Netherlands