We demand the release of Loup Bureau

French journalist Loup Bureau was arrested on the Turkey-Iraq border on July 26th and then arbitrarily detained and placed under investigation for “participating in a terrorist group”. In this joint statement by the Société des Journalistes (journalist ethics watchdog committees) from 13 French media organizations, including Mediapart, we demand his immediate release.

While Turkey has over recent weeks multiplied its purchase of ad space in several French and international media in order to vaunt the great “democracy” it supposedly is, the Erdogan regime has also increased its repression of journalists.

The latest example is the arrest of French journalist Loup Bureau, 27, who has been held in detention since July 26th this year. This freelance journalist was arrested at the Iraqi border in possession of photos (which date from 2013 and which were taken during a report broadcast on TV5MONDE) showing him in the company of Syrian Kurdish combatants.

We, the SDJ, demand that he be freed. His detention follows that of French photographer Mathias Depardon, who was arrested in Turkey in early May and who spent 30 days in prison, and also that of French journalist Olivier Bertrand who was detained for three days in November 2016.

Of course we do not forget the situation of our Turkish colleagues who carry out their job in difficult conditions. Arrest warrants have recently been issued for 35 of them, accused of fomenting the failed putsch of July 2016. There are about 20 journalists, from Turkey’s oldest daily newspaper, Cumhuriyet, currently standing trial on charges that carry a maximum sentence of 43 years in prison.

Swedish-Turkish journalist Hamza Yalcin, 59, a critic of the Turkish government, was arrested in Barcelona on August 3rd on an international arrest warrant issued by Turkey. He continues to be detained by the Spanish authorities pending a decision on whether he be extradited to Ankara.

NGO Reporters Without Borders has placed Turkey 155th in a ranking of 180 countries on their record regarding freedom of the press.

Rather than buying ad space in the French media, free Loup Bureau! Democracies do not imprison journalists who are carrying out their job.”

This appeal is signed by SDJ committees of the following French media:

TV5MONDE, Libération, Le Figaro, France 24, France 2, Télérama, Le Monde, RTL, Première Lignes, Les Echos, France 3, Le Point, Radio France, Mediapart, L'Obs, Les Jours, RFI, Challenges, RMC, TF1, ABACAPRESS.


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