PARIS — Reporters Without Borders designated Turkey and Iran among the countries posing the greatest threat to the lives of journalists, both male and female, in its 2023 report. The classification comes in the wake of persistent arbitrary arrests and the restrictive press environment maintained by both Turkish and Iranian authorities.
The organization’s report highlights Turkey and Iran as major global jailers of journalists, with ruling authorities in Ankara and Tehran resorting to arrests as a means to intimidate media professionals. According to the report, 50 journalists faced overcrowded Turkish prisons in 2023, with five still behind bars. In Iran, 58 journalists were imprisoned for more than 48 hours, and 21, including five women, remain in detention.
The extensive arrest campaigns by Turkish and Iranian authorities specifically target political opponents, and those perceived as challenging their arbitrary policies. This systematic approach aims to fragment opposition blocs and suppress dissenting voices.