Turkey world's biggest jail for journalists says RWB

Ranks 154th out of 180 countries in key year for civil liberties

12 February, 19:47

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, FEBRUARY 12 - Turkey under Islamist Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan ranked 154th out of 180 countries in the annual Reporters Without Borders (RWB) report on press freedom around the world.

    The RWB conclusions echoed findings by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which reported Turkey is among the countries with the most journalists in jail. It ranked 40th out of 221 nations worldwide, preceding Iran (35) and China (32).

    ''Turkey is the world's biggest jail for journalists, especially those critical of the authorities on the Kurdish question'', according to RWB.

    ''This year could be a decisive one for civil liberties in Turkey'' ahead of administrative elections in March and presidential ones in August, the watchdog NGO said.

    An Erdogan victory could well increase the authoritarian and Islamist tendencies of the powers that be, analysts said.

    Telephone wiretaps of Erdogan issuing instructions to TV and newspaper editors, including the removal of certain news items or modifying content, and leaked on the Internet have sparked an uproar in the past few days.

    A recent Internet law giving the government license to shut down websites within four hours has also sparked an outcry. The law was rushed through parliament, where Erdogan forces hold an absolute majority. (ANSAmed).

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