The International Press Institute (IPI) today condemned a directive sent on Tuesday by Turkey’s Security General Directorate (EGM) to all police departments in the country requesting officers to prevent audio and visual recordings of protests and public demonstrations. The note circulated is seen as a clear move to prevent citizens and journalists from reporting on human rights violations.

The Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) in Turkey published the directive by the head of EGM, former governor Mehmet Aktaş, sent on April 27, 2021, which instructs police officers to “take necessary action” to stop those who are taking audio-visual recording of public demonstrations in case the officers are being prevented from performing their duty. The official note caused a public outcry as journalists and citizens fear that the human rights violations and recent instances of disproportionate police action against protesters will be left undocumented. Some local media outlets that have built their work primarily on citizen journalism have raised concerns that their work will be heavily affected.

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