The One Free Press Coalition, an initiative established recently at the International Media Council at the World Economic Forum, included Turkish reporter Pelin Ünker in an urgent list of endangered journalists, Forbes reported on Friday.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, is also among the 10 journalists included in the list.
“Pelin Ünker wrote a piece as part of the Paradise Papers corruption investigation in 2017, revealing offshore holdings of the family of then-Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım. As retribution, authorities charged and sentenced her to 13 months for insulting the prime minister,” Forbes said.
In November 2017, Ünker reported in Cumhuriyet daily that Yıldırım’s two sons were the main beneficiaries of five shipping companies registered in Malta for tax optimisation purposes.
The family did not deny the report, but brought a suit against the newspaper, citing its attempt to “create a false and partial perception by public opinion.
“I did my duty as a journalist. The story was about public figures. I did my job in sharing the incident with the public. He was given the right to respond. I don’t think the story I did constitutes a crime,’’ Ünker said after a Turkish court sentenced her to 13 months in prison in January.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Turkey 157th among 180 countries on the 2018 World Free Press Index , describing Turkey as “the world’s biggest prison for professional journalists.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a U.S. based organisation promoting press freedom, said on March 8, the International Women’s Day, that Turkey was also the world’s top jailer of women journalists with 14 in prison.