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New arrests in Turkey: Amnesty International hit once again by repression

July 7th, 2017,

The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) strongly condemns the arrest of Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, and of eleven other persons, during a management and IT security training session held in a Buyukada hotel, an island located south of Istanbul.

Among the eleven persons arrested are three lawyers, Şeyhmuz Özbekli, Günal Kurşun (Human Rights Agenda Association) and Nalan Erkem (Citizens Assembly). There are also Human rights defenders, İlknur Üstün (Women’s Coalition) Nejat Taştan (Equal Rights Watch Association), Özlem Dalkıran (Citizens Assembly) and Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association), two trainers of German and Swedish nationality and the hotel owner.


According to the information communicated by Amnesty International, Idil Eser and the other prisoners were not allowed to contact a lawyer, which is a right that the police can deny only for 24 hours. They were not allowed to contact their family members either, even though this must be granted to them immediately.

Those arrests take place less than a month after the arrest of Taner Kiliç, lawyer and President of Amnesty International Turkey, accused by the Turkish authorities of having ties with the movement Fethullah Gülen, which is held accountable by the Government for the attempted coup in July 2016.

The OIAD expresses concerns over the fact that, ever since that coup, an overwhelming majority of the arrests conducted by the government seems to have been led in a repressive way and amounts to a form of repression led against every free and independent voices of the country. In a few months, more than 50 000 persons, including many judges, lawyers and academics, were the victims of retaliatory measures. The use of torture during detention have been reported repeatedly.

The OIAD stands in full solidarity with Amnesty International Turkey, with the Turkish lawyers and the Human rights defenders victims of this repression. In the absence of evidences on their involvement in the infringement Commission, the OIAD urges the Turkish authorities to drop all charges against them and to guarantee their freedom and security.