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Activists’ detention in Turkey shows global leaders are stamping on citizen rights

6th July 2017 by Thomas Howie

Activist and Civic Charter supporter Özlem Dalkıran and Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, were arrested yesterday during a digital security and information management workshop in Büyükada, Istanbul. The pair were detained along with seven other activists and two trainers*. Thus far the arrested have had only minimum access to legal advice and assistance.

These detentions follow the recent arrest of the Amnesty International Chair, Taner Kiliç, as well as other detentions of human rights activists and journalists over previous months.

Burkhard Gnärig, Executive Director of the International Civil Society Centre, said:

“This is yet another example of the intolerable context in which civil society activists in Turkey are forced to operate. It adds to an already toxic environment and perpetuates a climate of fear for civil society activists, such as Özlem Dalkıran and Idil Eser.

“Özlem is doing vital work to defend citizens’ rights in Turkey. Her rights to freedom of expression and association should be inalienable rights of all people, as laid out in the Civic Charter. The Civic Charter is a global framework for people’s participation and should be respected by all governments and authorities.

“As the G20 gathers in Hamburg, Germany civil society organisations demand that our global leaders listen to the views and voices of civil society and act to protect citizen rights. Indeed, in many G20 countries, such as Saudi Arabia, India and Russia, governments are actively stomping on civil society in order to silence critical voices. Failure by global leaders to take action, results in the kind of indiscriminate arrests we have seen in Turkey – that is unacceptable.”

*Notes: a full list of those detained and further information can be found, here:
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/07/director-of-amnesty-international-turkey-mustbe-released-from-incommunicado-detention/

Communications Coordinator

International Civil Society Centre