Journalists in Exile: The Weight of Truth-Telling, From the Middle East

The number of journalists imprisoned worldwide hit a new record in 2022, with China leading the pack, continuing its crackdown on Hong Kong. Less well known: the situation in Turkey for the free press is devastating. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Turkey is now the biggest jailor of reporters in the world. Many say it’s the “death of journalism” in the nation. Neighboring Azerbaijan is in a similar state. For women, too, the dangers of reporting are more severe than ever. Overall, journalists are experiencing large increases in detentions, abductions, and deaths. Those who escape are lucky, and in many cases, are still being hunted.

Joining us are journalists who have risked their lives to cover the story, forcing them to go into exile. They are the focus of this discussion. Why were they and their colleagues targeted? Is the free press dead in their home countries? What does it mean for the world when these lights go out?

Levent Kenez, former head editor of a paper in Turkey, was exiled from his home and fled to Sweden with the change in government and the crackdown on the free press in 2016. Sevinc Osmanqizi, born into a family of journalists, was pushed out of her native Azerbaijan and forced to relocate to Washington, D.C., in 2012. Both of them continue to practice the calling in exile, shedding light on totalitarian corruption in the governments of their home countries and beyond.

They share with us their life-threatening experiences and the insights they’ve gained.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.