Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn on today’s arrests of Human Rights defender and two journalists in Turkey

The arrest of the President of Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), Prof. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, and of two journalists, Erol Önderoğlu (from Reporters Without Borders) and Ahmet Nesin, today goes against Turkey’s commitment to respect the fundamental rights, including freedom of media. Any alleged wrongdoing or crime should be subject to due process, and respect to the principle of presumption of innocence should be guaranteed.

The EU has repeatedly stressed that Turkey, as a candidate country, must aspire to the highest possible democratic standards and practices. Any country negotiating its EU accession must guarantee human rights, in line with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Free, diverse and independent media are essential in any democratic society.

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* - References to Kosovo are without prejudice to positions on status. They are in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244/99 and the opinion by the International Court of Justice on the Kosovo declaration of independence.