MLSA’s Annual Report 2022: Continuing to work for freedom of expression, press freedom, and the right to information

The Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), which aims to promote freedom of expression, press freedom, and the right to information in Turkey, has published its Annual Report 2022.

In the report, it is emphasized that journalism and civil society persisted despite ongoing restrictions on freedom of expression and the imprisonment of journalists, as well as a stringent censorship law penalizing the dissemination of news considered untruthful by the government.

According to the report, MLSA in 2022 represented clients in 90 trial hearings, resulting in 12 acquittals and two dismissed cases. MLSA lawyers also provided emergency legal assistance to 16 individuals and visited 15 imprisoned journalists. Furthermore, 13 higher court applications were filed by MLSA’s Legal Unit on behalf of their clients. Seven of these applications were made to the Turkish Constitutional Court (AYM), and six, after exhaustion of the domestic remedies, to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

In 2022, MLSA took up the representation of 22 new clients and as of the end of the year, provided legal support to a total of 121 people, including four who are still behind bars. 110 of these clients are journalists, the others being civil society workers, activists, artists, lawyers and writers.

Beyond legal support and advocacy, MLSA has engaged with its community through online and offline panels, networking events and workshops. It also supported journalists in their professional and career development throughout the past year. MLSA’s training programs  not only supported journalists in their professional news research and writing skills, but also prepared them to meet legal challenges and resist anti-democratic pressures.

Extending its support to international journalism communities in 2022, MLSA has also supported colleagues from Russian independent media fleeing the repressive regime that launched the war in Ukraine.

For more details on MLSA’s work over the past year, read our 2022 Annual Report here.