BY Cilla Benkö

"What is happening in Turkey now is completely unacceptable"

INSI board member and Director General of Swedish Radio Cilla Benkö comments on the troubling events in Turkey, including the arrest of journalists, and the shutting down of news agencies, broadcasters and newspapers.

I condemn any attempt to restrict free access to news and information, which entails in addition a threat to a well-functioning democracy. What is happening in Turkey now is completely unacceptable and must be confronted at the highest political level.

Threats to journalists can also lead to self-censorship. Free and critical journalism plays a fundamental role in supporting a peaceful and prosperous society.

The continued decline of media freedom around the world as documented by international organisations such as Reporters Without Borders is a serious concern. That is why I support calls for the UN to appoint a Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General for the safety of journalists.

In addition, clearer engagement is required from politicians on a day-to-day basis. On every official international visit, Swedish politicians and other senior representatives should raise questions about how freedom of the press and freedom of expression are guaranteed in the countries that they visit and how many journalists are imprisoned there.

Photo by Matthias Ahlm/Swedish Radio