From Amnesty today:
Responding to the news that Idil Eser, Director of Amnesty International Turkey, was detained on Wednesday along with seven other human rights defenders and two trainers during a digital security and information management workshop in Büyükada, Istanbul, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said:
We are profoundly disturbed and outraged that some of Turkey’s leading human rights defenders, including the Director of Amnesty International Turkey should have been detained so blatantly without cause.
Her incommunicado detention and that of the other human rights defenders attending a routine training event, is a grotesque abuse of power and highlights the precarious situation facing human rights activists in the country. Idil Eser and those detained with her, must be immediately and unconditionally released.
World leaders currently sitting in Hamburg have been remarkably tolerant of Turkey’s human rights meltdown. With President Erdoğan now in their midst, this would be a good time to speak out firmly and call for the release of all human rights defenders currently behind bars.
The whereabouts of Idil Eser and the others detained alongside her, are currently unknown.
Idil Eser and the other detainees, are understood to have been denied access to lawyers, which police are entitled to do for 24 hours, and the right to contact a family member, which must be granted immediately.
.@aforgutu director #IdilEser and other nine defenders and trainers detained yesterday must be released immediately. https://t.co/5TnpIwvB2ppic.twitter.com/4FzDbSoa2h
— Milena Buyum (@MilenaBuyum) July 6, 2017
Police have told lawyers that they will be given information at 2.30pm today.
In addition to Idil Eser, the seven human rights defenders detained were: İlknur Üstün, Women’s Coalition, 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, Veli Acu, Human Rights Agenda Association.
Two foreign trainers – a German and a Swedish national – as well as the hotel owner, were also detained.
These detentions come less than a month after Amnesty International’s Turkey chair, Taner Kiliç, was remanded in prison custody on baseless charges.
UPDATE July 6, 2017
Amnesty issued an urgent action today. You can participate online, here.
UPDATE July 11, 2017
On July 11, Turkish authorities renewed the police detention of the human rights defenders for an additional seven days. Amnesty condemned the decision, with Amnesty International’s Europe Director, John Dalhuisen, stating, “With this news, we renew our emphatic call for the immediate and unconditional release of our Turkey director and the other nine human rights defenders detained alongside her.” He further noted,
It is truly absurd that they are under investigation for membership of an armed terrorist organization. They should not have spent a moment behind bars. For them to be entering a second week in police cells is a shocking indictment of the ruthless treatment of those who attempt to stand up for human rights in Turkey.