The Coalition For Women In Journalism condemns our member Dutch journalist Ans Boersma’s detention and deportation on ungrounded accusation of terror links.

Istanbul, January 17, 2019 — We condemn the detention and deportation of Dutch journalist Johanna Cornelia Boersma, who also goes by Ans Boersma. She was detained on January 16, at the Bakirkoy Ikametgah office, and subsequently deported early morning on January 17.

Boersma serves as the Economy Editor at Het Financieele Dagblad, a leading financial paper in the Netherlands. She is also a member of the Coalition For Women In Journalism, and a former fellow of the mentorship program. Ans has been largely covering economic beat and occasionally humanitarian stories in the country. The journalist had acquired her Turkish press card just a week ago, and had been actively working in Turkey since early 2017.

Our director, Kiran Nazish, who was there with Ans during the detention to aid with legal help and co-ordination says, “After thoroughly going through the documents and coordinating with the police, it seems that the reason of Ans’s deportation has no solid grounds. This incident has disrupted her ability to work in a country Ans dearly cares about and has worked thoroughly to gain expertise and connections in.” She adds, “During the time I have mentored Ans, I have seen her work extra hard to learn about the economic difficulties the country faces. I believe her reporting on this has contributed to a better understanding and kinder perspective about the country.”

She was stopped by Turkish police early morning on Wednesday. At the time, she was visiting the Immigration Service to get her residence permit extended. She was told that she was being expelled from the country for security reasons; however, no further details were given by the authorities. The Coalition For Women In Journalism believes that she was unfairly arrested and deported and the Turkish authorities should reveal more information with the press.

“I’ve been working with Ans as a fixer and a translator for more than a year. She’s very sweet, and she’s very careful about what she writes. She always cares about the facts, she never writes manipulative stuff,” said Hilal Sari, a local financial journalist who has worked closely with Ans.

“I don’t think anyone could say anything negative about her. It is scary that a journalist can be deported without any clarified reason.”

Colleagues and members of the Dutch trade union for journalists (NVJ) arranged a lawyer for her. Despite the involvement of the Dutch Consulate General in Istanbul, the deportation could not be delayed or cancelled. Boersma was not allowed to visit her home or collect any of her belongings before she was escorted to the airport.

We request the Turkish government to cooperate with the journalists working in their country. We also advice system of protection for journalists, or an ombudsman, needs to be formed, that especially focuses on offering legal correspondence to foreign and especially women journalists.

About the Coalition For Women In Journalism The Coalition For Women In Journalism is the first global network of mentors for women journalists. There are seven chapters in seven countries that offer help to journalists in five languages. The network of individuals and organizations brings together the experience and mentorship necessary to help women navigate the industry.

For more information about the Coalition, please visit www.womeninjournalism.org.

CONTACT:     

Press Inquiries

Press@womeninjournalism.org

Sulome Anderson

Director Advocacy

Coalition For Women In Journalism

sulome.anderson@womeninjournalism.org

Luavut Zahid

Global Coordinator

Coalition For Women in Journalism

luavut@womeninjournalism.org

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