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Rights-Based Organizations from Five Continents Called for Release of Rights Defenders in Turkey

Rights-Based Organizations from Five Continents Called for Release of  Rights Defenders in Turkey

Call for the immediate release of leading human rights defenders in Turkey

To the Government, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Justice of Turkey,

We are writing to you to express our profound dismay at the continued detention of ten human rights defenders and to call for their immediate release.

These ten human rights defenders were detained by police in Istanbul on 5 July while attending a training workshop. Two of them were experts from outside the country providing the training. The group were held without access to lawyers and relatives for over 24 hours and their detention was extended for seven days without charge.

The individuals in custody are members of well-known NGOs and some of the most prominent human rights defenders in Turkey and other countries. Their detention constitutes violations of the rights to freedom of expression and association.

Most obviously, this incident runs contrary to the rights protected under the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders ( http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Defenders/Declaration/declaration.pdf )

We therefore call for these rights to be immediately realised and for these colleagues to be released without any delay.

List of the detained human rights defenders:

  • Idil Eser, Amnesty International Turkey;
  • İlknur Üstün, Women’s Coalition;
  • Günal Kurşun , lawyer, Human Rights Agenda Association;
  • Nalan Erkem, Lawyer, Citizens Assembly;
  • Nejat Taştan, Equal Rights Watch Association;
  • Özlem Dalkıran, Citizens’ Assembly;
  • Şeyhmuz Özbekli, lawyer, Right Initiative;
  • Veli Acu, Human Rights Agenda Association;
  • Ali Gharavi — an IT consultant
  • Peter Steudtner — a non-violence and well-being trainer


  1. Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, (Plaza de Mayo Anneleri) Arjantin
  2. Vera Jarach, Plaza de Mayo Annesi, Arjantin
  3. Avrupa Gazeteciler Federasyonu- Fédération européenne des journalistes
  4. PEN America, ABD
  5. İfade Özgürlüğü için Kanadalı Gazeteciler — Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Kanada
  6. Wales PEN Cymru, Galler
  7. PEN Norway, Norveç
  8. PEN UK, İngiltere
  9. The Arab Forum for Sexuality Education and Health, Filistin
  10. Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), Kanada
  11. Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS), Arjantin
  12. CONECTAS, Breziya
  13. Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), ABD
  14. Fundación Memoria Historica y Social Arhgentina, Arjantin
  15. International Human Rights Group Agora, Rusya
  16. Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), İrlanda
  17. Madres de Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora, Arjantin
  18. Minority Rights Group International (MRG), İngiltere
  19. Human Rights Committee at the Law Society (of England and Wales) İngiltere
  20. Index, İngiltere
  21. Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights
  22. Fuuse, Norveç
  23. GAYa NUSANTARA, Endonezya
  24. International Planned Parenthood Federation — European Network, Belçika
  25. Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR),
  26. Peace is Loud, ABD
  27. African Women’s Network for Community management of Forests (REFACOF), Kamerun
  28. West African Network of Young Women Leaders, Senegal
  29. Federación Planificación Familiar Estatal, İspanya
  30. OPEN ASIA/Armanshahr, Afganistan
  31. Louisa Elkhomun, Echoes of Women in Africa ( ECOWA ), Nijerya
  32. PAIMAN Alumni Trust, Pakistan
  33. Niger Delta Women’s movement for Peace and Development, Nijer
  34. RESURJ Global
  35. Womankind Worldwide
  36. War on Want, İngiltere
  37. Association Ayotzinapan for HR in Mexico, İsveç
  38. Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy, Filipinler
  39. SPECTRA: Young Feminists, Ruanda
  40. VISION, Pakistan
  41. ATFD (Tunisian Association of Democratic Women), Tunus
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