On Wednesday (July 5), a group of human rights professionals and activists in Turkey’s İstanbul were taken into custody in Büyükada (Princes’ Islands) where they had gathered to hold a training seminar.
According to statements of head of the İstanbul branch of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (İHD), Gülseren Yoleri, the detained activists were taken to 5 different police stations and neither their families nor the lawyers were even informed about the detention for the first 12 hours.
In her statements given to DW Türkçe, Yoleri also mentioned that some of the detained activists, who talked to their lawyers later on, read in their detention report that the accusations might be related to ‘terror links.’
It is still not known clearly whether all activists are being accused of ‘terrorism’ or some, Yoleri added.
The detained activists are İdil Eser (Amnesty International Turkey); İlknur Üstün (Women's Coalition); Günal Kurşun (Human Rights Agenda Association); Nalan Erkem (Citizens Assembly); Nejat Taştan (Equal Rights Watch Association); Özlem Dalkıran (Citizens Assembly); Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association); and, Şeymuz Özbekli.
Two foreign nationals – a German and a Swedish trainer – who were taking part in the seminar are also in custody, along with the hotel’s owner, reports indicated.
Secretary General of Amnesty International Salil Shetty released a statement urging for the activists to be ‘immediately and unconditionally’ released.
“This is a grotesque abuse of power and highlights the precarious situation facing human rights activists in the country. Idil Eser and those detained with her, must be immediately and unconditionally released”, he said and added: “World leaders currently sitting in Hamburg have been remarkably tolerant of Turkey’s human rights meltdown. With President Erdoğan now in their midst, this would be a good time to speak out firmly and call for the release of all human rights defenders currently behind bars.”
Bağımsız bir gazete olarak amacımız, insanlara hakikati ulaştırarak ülkede gerçek bir demokrasi ve özgürlük ortamının yeşermesine katkı sunmak. Bu nedenle abonelikten elde ettiğimiz geliri, daha iyi bir gazeteciliği hayata geçirmek, okurlarımızın daha nitelikli ve güvenilir bir zemin üzerinden bilgiyle buluşmasını sağlamak için kullanıyoruz. Çünkü banka hesabını şişirmek zorunda olduğumuz bir patronumuz yok; iyi ki de yok.
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