I took my Power in my Hand – /
And went against the World –
Emily Dickinson (Poem 660)
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
---TURKEY: RELEASE AMNESTY STAFF & OTHER RIGHTS DEFENDERS--------I emailed you on July 6th when the Director of Amnesty Turkey and the rest of the #Istanbul10 were detained by Turkish authorities. This is unprecedented. These human rights defenders will join Amnesty International Turkey's Chair, Taner Kilic, behind bars. This politically motivated prosecution is the first time an Amnesty Director and Chair have been caught up in a crackdown on dissent. We need your help now. Take action to demand their freedom. The accusations set out by the prosecutor are tragically absurd and even included reference to some Amnesty letter writing actions. As a movement we can’t let this dangerous precedent go unanswered. Outrage is not enough. Please join me and Amnesty supporters mobilizing around the world to send a strong message to Turkey: release them now!
TURKEY: RELEASE AMNESTY STAFF & OTHER RIGHTS DEFENDERS
Amnesty leaders unjustly jailed in widespread crackdown on human rights defenders.
RESPECTED HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS WRONGLY ACCUSED OF TERRORIST ASSOCIATIONS
July 18, 2017: The Istanbul 10 have been charged with 'assisting a terrorist organization', 6 (including Amnesty Director Idil Eser) continue to be detained, and 4 have been released on bail. 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 ARE FREE
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).
Julie, things have taken a turn for the worse. Just hours ago, my colleagues in Turkey were charged for simply doing their job.
I emailed you on July 6th when the Director of Amnesty Turkey and the rest of the #Istanbul10 were detained by Turkish authorities.
This is unprecedented. These human rights defenders will join Amnesty International Turkey's Chair, Taner Kilic, behind bars. This politically motivated prosecution is the first time an Amnesty Director and Chair have been caught up in a crackdown on dissent.
Alex Neve Secretary General Amnesty International Canada
P.S. Critical voices in Turkish media and civil society are under attack: at least 120 journalists and media workers have been detained, and hundreds of media outlets and NGOs have been shut down. Human rights defenders need us to get louder for the rights of everyone in Turkey. Thank you for speaking out now!
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