Writers in Turkey under the current regime can be imprisoned for months or years without any charges being laid. 'Evidence' against them can come from anonymous sources and be too woolly to counter: someone claims to have heard an unspecified something at an unspecified date/place that is claimed as 'proof' of an unspecified offence. Punishment by way of jail ‘awaiting charge/trial’ follows.
The official press release is below. On behalf of the International Authors Forum we gave it our support.
In an unfortunate coincidence of a footnote, a journalist who had been at the press conference was prevented from boarding a plane out of Turkey later that day. It turned out to be nothing more than an overbooked plane but Turkish writers are routinely jailed for far lesser 'offences' than attending press conferences and giving interviews. The incident provided further pause for thought for those of us who attended and were vocal in our support.
It is great that we can take our own freedoms for granted, but must guard against becoming so blasé that we lose them.
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