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Star chapel calls on NUJ to back Seda Taskin

THE Morning Star’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) chapel is calling on trade unions and campaign organisations to support a Kurdish journalist at risk of imprisonment by Turkish authorities.

Mesopotamia News Agency journalist Seda Taskin faces more than seven-and-a-half-years in prison on alleged terrorism charges based on controversial evidence, including her own work.

Turkey has the highest number of imprisoned journalists anywhere in the world, with an estimated 170 currently behind bars. Hundreds of media platforms have been shut down by order of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Ms Taskin spent a year in prison before being released in February and will have an appeal hearing tomorrow.

She has said she was subjected to psychological and physical torture while in custody in December 2017.

The Morning Star NUJ chapel, which has stood by reporters in Turkey who face pressure and oppression, has launched the Journalists for Democracy in Turkey and Kurdistan campaign.

The chapel is calling on the NUJ to give the initiative its full support to the #IStandWithSeda campaign, make an immediate and urgent statement on Ms Taskin’s case and condemn the Turkish government for its attacks on journalism.

Trade unions, journalists and progressive organisations must also mobilise for an emergency demonstration outside the Turkish embassy in London if Ms Taskin is arrested, to demand her release and to call for an end to the oppression of journalists.

The chapel is asking the NUJ to raise the issue in Parliament as a matter of urgency and demand that Prime Minister Theresa May stop normalising relations with Turkey, including the sale of arms, until it releases all journalists, politicians and others jailed on trumped-up terrorism charges.

The Star approached the NUJ for comment but did not receive a response by the time of going to print.

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