House of Lords written question – answered on 10th October 2013.

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Photo of Lord Patten Lord Patten Conservative

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 23 September (WA 443–4), whether they will ask the government of Turkey how many journalists are being held in Turkish prisons for criminal offences.

Photo of Baroness Warsi Baroness Warsi Senior Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Jointly with the Department for Communities and Local Government), Senior Minister of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Faith and Communities) (also in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

We have asked the Government of Turkey for an official estimate of the numbers of journalists in prison, but they have been unable to provide one.

We and our EU partners will continue to regularly raise our concerns about the high number of journalists in prison with the Turkish authorities.

The Turkish Government has itself recognised the need for reform in this area and has adopted a series of judicial reform packages which aim to address some of the underlying constraints to fundamental rights. The EU monitors these issues closely and, in Turkey's 2012 Annual Progress Report, welcomed steps taken and called for further progress to be made.

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