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Freedom of Expression Trials in Turkey: Justice Monitoring to Secure Journalists’ Rights

Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 1:30 pm – 3:20 pm

Turkish courts regularly violate journalists’ right to a fair trial, according to a trial monitoring project led by the Turkey-based Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) and the International Press Institute (IPI). The project was funded by the European Commission and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation. 

MLSA and IPI observed 90 court sessions of 71 separate trials over a six-month period from July to December 2018 in ten different provinces in Turkey. The vast majority of the defendants were journalists, but they also included lawyers, academics and artists. Overall, 72 percent of the criminal charges were for alleged terrorism offences, while the rest mainly related to alleged acts of defamation. 

In this seminar, the Executive Director of the IPI will present the findings of the report and reflect on the importance of journalists’ fair trial rights in securing media freedom and public interest reporting.

Read the summary of the seminar HERE.


Barbara Trionfi is Executive Director at International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists dedicated to safeguarding and fostering media freedom and promoting quality, independent journalism. She joined IPI in 2000, as a press freedom adviser for the Asia-Pacific region. Later, as press freedom manager, she oversaw IPI’s global press freedom monitoring and coordinated IPI’s global advocacy. Her field of expertise covers different areas related to press freedom and freedom of expression.


Sejal Parmar is Assistant Professor of Law at the Department of Legal Studies and a core faculty member of the Center for Media, Data and Society at the School of Public Policy at CEU. Her main field of research and policy engagement is international and European human rights law on freedom of expression. She has previously worked as Senior Adviser to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media and as Senior Legal Officer at ARTICLE 19.