AI condemns the detention of human rights defenders
Amnesty International condemned the detention of their Director for Turkey along with seven other human rights defenders and two trainers, and called for their immediate and unconditional release.
Amnesty International Turkey Director İdil Eser was taken into custody yesterday together with seven other human rights advocates and two trainers during a workshop on digital security and information management.
According to reports; the following people were taken into custody yesterday in the raid and are in detention in Büyükada police department:
Nalan Erkem and Özlem Dalkıran (Helsinki Citizens Assembly), İlknur Üstün (Women's Coalition), İdil Eser and Veli Acu (Amnesty International), Günal Kurşun (Human Rights Agenda Association), Nejat Taştan (Association for Monitoring Equal Rights), Şeyhmuz Özbekli and Ali Garawi.
In addition, two trainers and the owner of the hotel in which the raid was carried out were taken into custody as well.
Responding to the news that Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, was detained on Wednesday along with seven other human rights defenders and two trainers during a digital security and information management workshop in Büyükada, Istanbul, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:
“We are profoundly disturbed and outraged that some of Turkey’s leading human rights defenders, including the Director of Amnesty International Turkey should have been detained so blatantly without cause.
Her incommunicado detention and that of the other human rights defenders attending a routine training event, is a grotesque abuse of power and highlights the precarious situation facing human rights activists in the country. Idil Eser and those detained with her, must be immediately and unconditionally released.
World leaders currently sitting in Hamburg have been remarkably tolerant of Turkey’s human rights meltdown. With President Erdoğan now in their midst, this would be a good time to speak out firmly and call for the release of all human rights defenders currently behind bars.”
Amnesty International remarked that Idil Eser and the other detainees, are understood to have been denied access to lawyers, which police are entitled to do for 24 hours, and the right to contact a family member, which must be granted immediately.
Police have told lawyers that they will be given information at 2.30pm today.
In addition to Idil Eser, the seven human rights defenders detained were: 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, Veli Acu, Human Rights Agenda Association.
Two foreign trainers – a German and a Swedish national – as well as the hotel owner, were also detained.
These detentions come less than a month after Amnesty International’s Turkey chair, Taner Kiliç, was remanded in prison custody on baseless charges.