Tell Turkey: free Amnesty’s İdil Eser, Taner Kılıç, and other rights defenders

2017 2017-07-18T16:14:06+0300 2017-07-18T16:36:55+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

Every day, these women and men risk their own safety to defend others. They speak out for people’s freedom, they challenge injustices and they fight for everyone in Turkey to be treated fairly.

Now they need your help.

A court in Turkey has just sent six human rights defenders to prison, including Amnesty’s Turkey Director İdil Eser, less than a month after jailing its Chair, Taner Kılıç. Turkey has locked these activists up, just when they are needed most: when the independent media has been silenced, speaking out comes at a high cost and people are living in fear. Every day that they are detained, the people they speak up for are left vulnerable to the government’s ongoing crackdown on freedoms.

None of them have done anything wrong. Taner has been wrongly accused of “membership of the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization”, while İdil and the others have been imprisoned on the unfounded suspicion of “committing a crime in the name of a terrorist organization”: both ridiculous and baseless accusations. Another four activists have been released on bail, but are still being investigated.

The Turkish authorities must immediately release all detainees, and stop the witch-hunt against all 11 human rights defenders.

We won’t stop until they’re all free. Join us and take action now.

The six human rights defenders remanded in custody and joining Amnesty’s Taner Kılıç behind bars are İdil Eser (Amnesty International), Günal Kurşun and Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association), Özlem Dalkıran (Citizens’ Assembly), Ali Gharavi (IT strategy consultant) and Peter Steudtner (non-violence and wellbeing trainer). The four human rights defenders charged but released on bail are Nalan Erkem (Citizens Assembly), İlknur Üstün (Women's Coalition), Nejat Taştan (Equal Rights Watch Association) and Şeyhmus Özbekli (Rights Initiative).