Amnesty International sends observers at Saturday Mothers' sit-in

Amnesty International has said it would send observers on 1 September to the sit-in organised by the Saturday Mothers. 

Amnesty International said in a statement to be “alarmed by the statements made by the [Turkish] Minister of Interior on 27 August, suggesting that a ban on the weekly vigil may be imposed in the future”. 

Amnesty recalled that “the relatives of those forcibly disappeared and others who had gathered to participate in the vigil on 25 August were peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, guaranteed under both domestic and international human rights law”. 

The organisation has called on “the authorities to ensure that the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly of everyone, including participants in the vigil, are upheld and respected during the next vigil, due to take place on 1 September and subsequently after that”. 

Amnesty International said it “will send observers to the vigil due to take place on Saturday 1 September”.

On Saturday 25 August 2018, police in Istanbul attacked the peaceful vigil by relatives of people who have been forcibly disappeared while in state forces custody. 

The weekly peaceful vigil in Galatasaray Square was due to mark the 700th week of the protest since 1995 by the Saturday Mothers. 

The Mothers have been demanding justice and the truth about the disappearances of their beloved while in custody. 

Those responsible for the disappearances have not been brought to justice. 

Police used tear gas, water cannons and plastic bullets against those assembled, including relatives of people forcibly disappeared, human rights defenders and parliamentarians, as well as journalists covering the vigil. 

Some 47 participants were ill-treated and detained, included some elderly Mothers.