Turkey: Harassment Against Human Rights Defenders Must End!
|Publisher||International Federation for Human Rights|
|Publication Date||12 July 2009|
|Cite as||International Federation for Human Rights, Turkey: Harassment Against Human Rights Defenders Must End!, 12 July 2009, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4a84241145.html [accessed 26 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Sunday 12 July 2009
Ankara-Copenhagen-Geneva-Paris, May 29, 2009.
Ms. Filiz Kalayci, a lawyer, member of the Executive Committee of the Human Rights Association (IHD) and member of the IHD committee on prisons, was arrested yesterday on the basis of an allegation of "aiding illegal organisations". She had already been arrested on May 12 and detained for three days with three other lawyers* also linked to IHD and involved in defending the rights of prisoners, before being released.
The latter decision was challenged by the Public Prosecutor. On May 28, the 11th district High Criminal Court of Ankara decided to arrest Ms. Filiz Kalayci under the pretext of disturbing public order.
This police and judiciary harassment seems solely motivated by Ms. Filiz Kalayci's human rights activities, and therefore contravenes the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly on December 9, 1998. Ms. Kalayci has indeed been working on cases of human rights violations in places of detention.
In addition, Ms. Yuksel Mutlu, Turkish Assembly for Peace Spokesman, was also arrested yesterday. Her case is under secrecy, which prevents her lawyers to meet her and access her file.
Human Rights Association (IHD), the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), are deeply concerned about these measures affecting human rights activists. They call upon the Turkish authorities to act in accordance with the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Article 5 of the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
IHD, EMHRN and the Observatory urge the Turkish authorities to release Ms. Filiz Kalayci and Ms. Yuksel Mutlu, as well as to put an end to the proceedings against them and the three other lawyers named in this case in the absence of any valid ground for such proceedings. More generally, our organisations call upon the Turkish authorities to put an end to all kinds of harassment against human rights defenders in Turkey.
*Mr. Hasan Anlar, IHD Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Halil Ibrahim Vargün, IHD former treasurer, and Mr. Murat Vargün