Our thanks goes out to Susan Sarandon, who has offered her generous support to Amnesty’s on-going campaign to protect freedom of expression and assembly and end police violence in Turkey. She has helped support our petition drive through twitter and now has written an open letter calling on others to lend their support as well.
In her letter, she writes:
Freedom of expression is a right I deeply value and must defend.
Today, this right is under serious attack in Turkey.
Since the clashes in Taksim Square began on May 28, Turkish police have used shocking levels of force to disperse peaceful protesters. Despite harsh international criticism, Turkish authorities have failed to step in to curb police abuse and help their own citizens.
Thousands of activists have been injured and unjustly imprisoned.
Over the weekend, police were seen firing tear gas directly at makeshift hospitals and detaining doctors and other medical personnel who were treating injured protestors. Recently, just as scores of lawyers were preparing to make a statement about the protests, they were arrested. People have also been detained simply for posting protest information on social media.
This must stop now.
Peaceful dissent should never be stifled with violence.
I support the nonviolent demonstrators in Turkey who, despite the risks, continue to take to the streets to call for basic human rights, including freedom of speech and for their right to be heard.