Take Action for Human Rights
Tell Turkey to drop charges against Melike, Özgür, and all other peaceful protesters
Photo Credit: ©Akin Celiltas
From day one, biology students Melike Balkan and Özgür Gür dedicated themselves to defending lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI+) rights at their university. As members of the LGBTI+ Solidarity Group, they have organized campus Pride marches successfully for years.
But in May 2019, the university banned the planned march, and called in the police who used excessive force, including tear gas, to disperse the peaceful protestors sit-in. Police arrested at least 23 students — including Melike and Özgür — and an academic. Some of those detained hadn’t even taken part in the protest. Despite simply exercising their right to peaceful protest, 18 students and the academic are now on trial. If found guilty, they could face up to three years in prison.
Take Action: Tell the Ambassador of Turkey to drop all the charges against Melike, Özgür, and the other individuals involved in the peaceful protest.