About Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA)
Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) is a human rights organization committed to protecting freedom of expression, press freedom, the right to assemble and protest, and access to information in Turkey. It serves as a vital platform where journalism and legal expertise merge to safeguard these freedoms, particularly for journalists, lawyers, and human rights defenders facing increasing challenges.
Legal Advocacy and Support
At MLSA, we provide crucial legal support to individuals, including journalists, civil society professionals, and activists, who face legal challenges due to their use of freedom of expression and press. Our legal team offers consultancy, represents clients in court, and files applications in local and international courts. We go beyond typical legal aid, providing emergency support in urgent situations, like aiding journalists detained during protests. MLSA Legal Team represents more than 100 clients at different levels on different cases.
Trial Monitoring Program
Our trial monitoring program is critical in protecting freedom of expression and press freedom. We closely watch trials, especially those concerning free speech, to ensure fairness and transparency. Since 2018, this program has had a significant impact in Turkey, advocating for justice and developing legal strategies based on our findings.
We publish a trial monitoring reports with the findings in each judicial year. So far MLSA monitored more than 2000 hearings. MLSA live updates the developments in the monitored trials on its Twitter account (@MLSADavaTakip) in Turkish and English. We publish articles after trials on our website.
The Free Web Turkey initiative by the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) is a critical project aimed at combating internet censorship and advocating for online freedom in Turkey. This initiative focuses on monitoring and reporting online censorship, addressing the growing challenges of content bans and restrictions on internet access. By conducting thorough open-source research and analysis, Free Web Turkey provides valuable insights into the state of digital freedom in the country. This project is a key part of MLSA's efforts to ensure an open and free internet, which is fundamental for the freedom of expression and access to information. Through Free Web Turkey, MLSA stands as a staunch defender of digital rights, highlighting and challenging any forms of internet censorship and advocating for a more accessible and unrestricted online environment.
FreeWebTurkey Platform publishes its findings every year with an Internet Censorship Report.
Our legal strategy includes a strong focus on strategic litigation. We choose cases that can set important precedents or drive significant legal and social change. Through this approach, we aim not just to win cases but to advance legal standards and foster a more equitable legal landscape. For example, MLSA successfully challenged a decree that banned video recording of police conduct.
Recognizing the power of international legal mechanisms, our legal unit files applications to high courts and contributes to the implementation of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgments. As members of the European Implementation Network (EIN) and Campaign to Uphold Rights in Europe (CURE), we are at the forefront of international legal advocacy. We file Rule 9.2. Communications to the Committee of Ministers on freedom of expression cases in the implementation process.
We are committed to empowering journalists and lawyers through education. Our workshops and training programs focus on human rights law, journalism practices, and digital security, equipping participants with skills to handle their professional challenges. We cover investigative reporting, legal rights, and strategies to deal with anti-democratic pressures, preparing participants to navigate the complex media law landscape effectively.
Training and Workshops
MLSA’s training for journalists and lawyers is designed to be both practical and informative. Journalists learn about investigative techniques and legal rights, while lawyers gain insights into defending freedom of expression cases, including making applications to human rights courts like the ECtHR. These programs are essential in today’s challenging media and legal environments.