Turkish courts in 2021 handed down 80 years in prison to 36 journalists, BirGün newspaper reported on Monday, citing a report by an opposition member of parliament.
A total of 31 journalists were detained and 105 subjected to physical violence, according to the report by deputy Utku Çakırözer of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
Journalists in the country appeared before a judge a total of 475 times last year, the report said, with those sentenced being convicted over their articles they had written and social media posts and comments.
The Turkish government has intensified a crackdown on critical media following the failed coup attempt of July 2016. At least 180 media outlets have been shut down in Turkey and scores of journalists have been jailed on terror charges, since the failed putsch.
Turkey is among the world’s biggest jailers of journalists for the fifth year in a row, and was ranked 153 out of 180 countries in the newly published World Press Freedom Index published in April.
Last year the government used access bans to prevent the flow of information on news items on corruption, femicides, sexual abuse, the CHP deputy told BirGün, in a move that has “undermined press freedom and the public’s access to information.”
Journalists in the country were prevented from doing their jobs by methods that include intimidation and death threats, she added.
The report arrives as a Turkish court on Saturday ordered well-known journalist Sedef Kabaş to be jailed pending trial on a charge of insulting the president in a case that made international headlines.