PRESS RELEASE: Turkey Urged To Release Islamist Journalist


Islamic Human Rights Commission

24 September 2003

PRESS RELEASE: Turkey Urged To Release Islamist Journalist

Torture of journalists who speak against the secular line in Turkey is alive and well said the Islamic Human Rights Commission today from London. IHRC will be urging campaigners to contact both governmental and non- governmental organisations to highlight the plight of Nurredin Sirin and bring the case to justice.

Although the Turkish Secret Service testified that Nurredin Sirin was not a member of Hizbullah, he was found guilty of being part of the Lebanese organisation in 1997. Sirin is a respected journalist and the former editor of Selam newspaper, Turkey’s most popular Muslim publication. Sirin had spoken in favour of Palestinian self-determination. He had also spoken against the illegal occupation of Lebanon by Israel.

A military judge was among those who tried Sirin, a matter held to be a violation of basic human rights by the European Court of Human Rights in a recent case. Sirin’s case is currently in the process of reaching the ECHR. IHRC is urging its campaigners to call for Sirin’s immediate and unconditional release by the Turkish government.

Recently a team of three solicitors was sent by Turkey to see Sirin and investigate his torture.

“Nureddin Sirrin’s case is a moral obstacle in Turkey’s bid for EU membership,” said Massoud Shadjareh, Chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission.

“The Turkish prime minister himself was a victim of these draconian laws and now he seems to be politically impotent or unwilling to correct the situation. One of the pre-conditions for Turkey’s entry into the EU should be the immediate and unconditional release of Sirin and all other prisoners of faith.”

For further information please call the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or (+44) 7958 60 74 75, email:

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Fax (+44) 20 8904 5183