DON’T CALL HUMAN BEINGS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT: FAIKA DENIZ PAŞA ALERTS MEDIA OUTLETS

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2022

Faculty of Communications and Media Studies organized a seminar as part of the human rights activities on human rights sensitive news reporting in the refugee context and it was delivered by legal practitioner, Faika Deniz Paşa from the Association of Refugee Rights at the faculty’s Purple Hall.

The event started at 2:40 pm with the introduction of the topic and speaker by Assoc. Prof Dr. Hanife Aliefendioğlu. In attendance were other faculty members; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nurten Kara Assist. Prof. Dr. Metin Ersoy, Assist. Prof. Dr. Ülfet Kutoğlu and Assist. Prof. Dr. Yetin Arslan . Other Attendees were research assistants and students of the faculty.

The speaker, Faika Deniz Paşa introduced herself as a legal practitioner who helps refugees with legal and psychological needs and she immediately delved into the discourse of the day. For an introduction, she defined refugees as ‘people who leave their countries because of war or persecution due to nationality, race, religion, political opinion or membership in a group and their countries of origin cannot protect them’. She further stated the two known rights of a refugee which is Non-refoulement; a customary law based on the level of advancement the world as attained that makes the rights human being not be infringed and Non-penalization for irregular entry which is a right that guides refugees who might have lost their passport or lack visa to enter into a country.

To her treatment of the day, she declared as facts that some media outlets use frames like asylum seeker, refugee and illegal immigrant and they use them wrongly and interchangeably in reporting news. In her words; ‘reporting refugee news should be based on charter of Rome. A take that says all news reports about refugees should pose them anonymous leaving their identity unknown’. The high point of the seminar was her emphasis on the phrase ‘illegal immigrant’ which has been used wrongly by a slew of media outlets. She emphasized that ‘goods and cigarettes for instance can be illegal but not humans ’.

Faika Deniz Paşa also condemned the pithy use of pity words in the media like ‘they need help’ for refugees. She stated that the narrative is wrong and it should stop because the media shapes public opinion and since they do, the media audiences are made to think that refugees have no right which she totally dissents.

Click here to see pictures from the seminar