On March 15, 2011, the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) urged the Turkish government to respect journalists' freedom of expression. The admonishment was in response to the arrest of nine journalists by Turkish officials earlier in March 2011. The arrests were based on accusations that the journalists had been involved in a conspiracy to overthrow the government through the political dissent group, Ergenekon. The UN OHCHR announced that the arrests appeared to be politically motivated and violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The UN accusations were lent support large protests in Istanbul calling for better speech protections. Journalistic expression in Turkey has been the subject of scrutiny for years, especially in light of prosecutions for insulting "Turkishness" and Turkish efforts to restrict access to YouTube.
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