Recently, following the attack on “Hayeli” (Mirror) Press Club, “Media Advocate” issued a statement, anticipating a legal assessment. As a matter of fact, except for initiating criminal proceedings, no other assessment was given to the incident. Moreover, the attackers are free now and seem to be proud of their actions expressing their excitement on social networks.
The atmosphere of this permissiveness emerged after the change of power, and a number of human rights and media freedom advocates are responsible for it, as they should have given assessments on pressures on media outlets in the past, but they mainly kept silence or made irrelevant and inappropriate statements which turned to deepen the separation of the media, dividing media to “insiders” (ours) and “outsiders” (theirs).
After the change of power, the media field had a hope that the pressure on them would be reduced somehow as the prime minister is their long-time friend, but the reality showed the opposite: an unprecedented number of lawsuits against the media in a year, police search in the offices of various media outlets, seizure of computers of media outlets based on fictitious reasons, a number of media outlets were almost losing their offices, furthermore, by using power structures they have been trying to force number of media outlets to disclose their sources. The reason for this was also the silence of a number of journalistic organizations.
The silence of the authorities on the situation in the media field actually inspires the enemies of the free press. In their statements on the attacks on “Hayeli” Press Club, a number of non-governmental organizations calling for the defense of freedom of speech have tried to equate the blame of the authorities and the opposition, the organizations actually try to put the blame on media outlets. However, during this time, progovernment media sources, including publicly funded media, in fact have not been restricted by anything and have been free to express their concern, whereas those linked to opposition, have been suppressed. In their statements, advocates of “freedom of speech” speak about fake news, distorted facts, and point out that this causes dissatisfaction among the public, which in some cases is expressed by impermissible acts. It should be reminded that after the change of power, the opposition did not carry out such action which again proves that the organizations are clearly biased.
“Media Advocate” Initiative recalls that the draft “Law on Television and Radio” presented by the organizations seeking the Protection of Freedom of Speech actually does nothing but aims to restrict the freedom of speech.
“In order to avoid further problems and similar incidents, “Media Advocate” Initiative urges to give an urgent legal assessment to the happening and to punish the perpetrators. Otherwise, full responsibility will be on the authorities and the organizations matching their actions with the government agenda.