Free Amnesty Turkey’s Director Idil Eser and Other Human Rights Defenders

UPDATE: Idil and five of the other human rights defenders have been accused of “committing a crime in the name of a terrorist organization”. Despite the fact that this accusation is ridiculous and baseless, these six human rights defenders have now been imprisoned pending trial. The other four have been released on bail; however, they are still under investigation.
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Police have detained the second Amnesty International Turkey leader within the space of a month.

On the morning of July 5th, police arrested ten human rights defenders at a routine workshop in Istanbul. One of them was Idil Eser, the Director of Amnesty International Turkey.

For over 24 hours, they weren’t allowed to contact their families or see a lawyer — and no one even knew where they were.

Idil and the others were doing nothing wrong. Some are being questioned on suspicion of “membership of an armed terrorist organization,” a baseless and ridiculous accusation. 

This kind of attack on human rights defenders is becoming more frequent. Turkey’s government is abusing its power, deliberately making the country a dangerous place for people who speak out for human rights.

The Turkish authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all ten detainees as well as the Chair of Amnesty Turkey Taner Kiliç.

The ten human rights defenders detained are İdil Eser (Amnesty International), 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), Şeyhmuz Özbekli (lawyer), Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association), Ali Gharavi (IT strategy consultant) and Peter Steudtner (non-violence and wellbeing trainer).



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