Dear President and Members of the Peace Committee of International PEN,
Dear President and Members of the PEN Turkey Centre and Kurdish PEN Centre,
As many of you know, the Turkish government is continuing their harsh repression of the civil rights and Freedom of Expression of their Kurdish citizens.
On the 3rdof October 2016, the Kurdish Channel Med-Nuçe was shut down by their satellite provider, on Turkey’s request. This channel reported news hourly and had 26 genuine programs focusing not only on the Kurdish issues but also on women, labor conditions, environment, and local and international political discussions. It was their window on the world.
As part of the continuing repressive and arbitrary measures in Turkey, the Turkish government has also recently shut down over twenty Kurdish TV channels and radio stations, many broadcasting in unique and endangered Kurdish dialects, and have forcibly sealed the doors and captured the goods of these channels.
Since the declaration of Emergency Rule following the coup attempt in July, over 200 journalists in Turkey have been targeted for detention, more than 100 journalists arrested, dozens of media organizations shut down and because of this, over 2,308 journalists have lost their jobs.
We must stand together and collectively raise our voices in solidarity with our Kurdish and Turkish colleagues and comrades under threat in Turkey, to decry these events, and ask for negotiations and consistent dialogue to remedy these repressive acts and maintain peace.
In light of all the many, ongoing, attacks on Kurdish lives, liberties, and culture, and as we at the San Miguel PEN Centre experience these attacks on the lives, liberties and civil rights of our Kurdish and Turkish comrades as attacks on the very fabric of Human Rights for us all, we urge that the oppression of journalists and media be STOPPED and peace and civil rights be instated for the Kurdish and Turkish people and we strongly stand in support for and solidarity with all efforts to make this so.
Furthermore, we declare ourselves to stand side by side our Kurdish and Turkish comrades, members of the Kurdish PEN Centre, PEN Turkey Centre, PEN International and all peoples that believe and work for Freedom of Expression and Human Rights, in support of the journalists and their right to Freedom of Expression in Turkey.
President, San Miguel PEN
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
Estados Unidos Mexicanos