Employee of Yeni Yaşam newspaper detained in Ankara

An employee of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Yeni Yaşam, Hamdullah Bayram, has been detained in Ankara without giving reasons. According to the media rights organization MLSA, he was mistreated and threatened with death.

An employee of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Yeni Yaşam, Hamdullah Bayram, has been taken into custody in Ankara. The arrest took place on Tuesday in the district of Çankaya without giving any reasons. Relatives of the newspaper employee said that Bayram was threatened with death by the two police officers who carried out the arrest. "We know you and your newspaper. We will burn you all, your newspaper and your agency," the policemen said.

Bayram was handcuffed with his hands behind his back. Then he had to stand facing a wall while his cell phone and valuables were taken from him. He was then forcibly placed in a police car.

According to available information, Hamdullah Bayram was taken to the police headquarters in Çankaya. In the meantime, the Turkish-based media rights organization "Media and Law Studies Association" (MLSA) also reports that Bayram was mistreated.

Critical media workers in the sights of the judiciary

Dictatorial regimes like the one in Turkey abuse criminal offences such as terrorism or threats to public morals in order to criminalize unpopular journalists and silence critical voices. Particularly since the AKP, and thus Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been ruling the country, media workers have systematically come under the scrutiny of the security and judicial authorities as soon as they dare to address taboo subjects prescribed by the state and report on abuses and human rights violations. Kurdish media institutions and their employees are particularly affected by this systematic repression.