The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has written to the Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan protesting the recent closure of Kudus television channel by state authorities.
Kudus TV was officially shut down on 28 October by the Radio and Television Supreme Council on the grounds that it poses a threat to national security.
The Council’s decision appears to be based on emergency powers adopted by the government in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt earlier this year.
IHRC believes that the application of emergency laws in this instance is unwarranted.
Kudus TV is a longstanding independent TV channel which has sought to promote freedom, liberty and independence for the people of the region and the wider world. It has supported the Arab Spring uprisings and sought to expose the continuing injustice of the Israeli occupation of Palestine. Kudus TV also vehemently opposed the recent attempted overthrow of the democratically elected Turkish government.
The letter states: “We are concerned that in the case of Kudus TV the emergency laws may be being used too liberally and in a way that stifles legitimate free expression and freedom of the press. While it is true that Kudus TV has been critical of some government policies that should not be a reason to take it off air.”
It adds: “In the light of the above information we urge you to review this decision and take the necessary steps to reinstate Kudus TV as soon as possible. Leaving the situation as it is only harms Turkey’s reputation in the world as a supporter of human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
At the time of writing Kudus TV’s offices remain sealed off, its property seized and the station off air.
Notes to editors:
The full letter can be read here
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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598