5-7-2013By Christopher Plummer
Whitney Ellsworth Fellow
On September 8, 2006, Fusün Erdoğan, the founder and director of the radio station Ozgur Radyo, was kidnapped, blindfolded, and thrown into an unmarked car by plainclothes policemen. For two years she was held without being informed of the charges against her. She is being persecuted as part of the systematic intimidation of progressive, independent Turkish media.
Over six years later, Erdoğan remains behind bars. She has been accused of leading an illegal organization and attempting to overthrow the constitutional order by force, though she claims that no evidence has been presented to substantiate these charges.
On May 16th, President Obama will welcome Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan to Washington, D.C. As the leaders meet to discuss their geo-political alliance, President Obama should raise U.S. concerns about the clampdown on free speech.
As part of honoring journalists for World Press Freedom Day, Human Rights First has highlighted 10 cases of journalists under threat.