مركز التنمية البيئية والإجتماعية

منظمة غير ربحية لخدمة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا

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AMNESTY & Turkey…. No comment

Absurd ‘terrorism’ investigation launched into Amnesty International’s Turkey Director and nine others

Responding to news that Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, seven other human rights activists and two IT trainers, are being investigated for membership of an ‘armed terrorist organization’, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:

“The absurdity of these accusations against Idil Eser and the nine others cannot disguise the very grave nature of this attack on some of the most prominent civil society organizations in Turkey.

“Their spurious detention while attending a routine workshop was bad enough: that they are now being investigated for membership of an ‘armed terrorist organization’ beggars belief.

“Idil’s detention comes less than a month after the chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kılıç, was remanded in custody also without valid grounds. This is the first time in our history that Amnesty International has a director and chair from a single country both behind bars. They, along with all other detained human rights defenders, must be immediately and unconditionally released.”

Background

At 10am on 5 July, eight human rights defenders, including Amnesty International’s Turkey Director Idil Eser and two international trainers were detained by police at a hotel in Büyükada, Istanbul, where they were attending a workshop.

All the detainees were denied access to lawyers for more than 28 hours, in contravention of Turkish law, which states a maximum time of 24 hours. The group were also denied the right to contact family members, again in contravention of Turkish law.

The authorities refused to confirm where the human rights defenders were being held until around 3pm on 6 July.

Idil Eser is being held at a police station in Maltepe, on the outskirts of Istanbul, along with İlknur Üstün of the Women’s Coalition. The remaining human rights defenders are being held at three other locations on the outskirts of Istanbul. Lawyers were granted access to the seven on Thursday afternoon.

The state of emergency put in place after last year’s failed coup attempt allows for seven days of pre-charge detention, extendable for a further seven days on the request of the prosecutor.

In addition to Idil Eser and İlknur Üstün the six human rights defenders detained are:, 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, and Veli Acu, Human Rights Agenda Association.

Two foreign trainers – a German and a Swedish national – are still being held on the island and have been granted access to a lawyer.

The Turkish authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all 10 detainees.

These detentions come less than a month after Amnesty International’s Turkey chair, Taner Kılıç, was remanded in prison custody on baseless charges.

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تأسس المركز عام 2003 في سوريا بجهود عدد من الكتاب والباحثين العرب، ثم توسع في نشاطه وعمله يغطي غالبية دول الشرق الاوسط وشمالي افريقيا، وفي عام 2015 بادرت ادارة المركز لاعادة هيكلة فريقها وتاسيس فريق عمل ينشط من نيويورك في الولايات المتحدة لهدف خدمة منطقة الشرق الاوسط وشمالي افريقيا The Center for Environmental and Social Development demonstrates a commitment to social justice through investigative journalism and human rights implementation. We strive to bring democratic change to the Middle East and North Africa. Emerging from a range of fields including philanthropy, political science, law, human rights, and medicine, we embrace collaboration in order to support peaceful and stable democratic movements across the MENA Region. Our efforts contribute to the foundation’s mission of creating a new culture in the region which is mainly based on the values of citizenship, democracy, and coexistence.