12 human rights advocates detained at a meeting in Istanbul
Police detained 12 people, including the Turkey head of Amnesty International, Idil Eser, and other rights activists at a meeting on Buyukada Island.
Turkish police detained 12 people, including the Turkey head of Amnesty International, Idil Eser, and other rights activists at a meeting on Buyukada Island near Istanbul.
They had gathered at a hotel on Buyukada Island when they were taken to a police station on Wednesday.
Amnesty called for the group's release, saying it was "profoundly disturbed and outraged" at the detentions during a digital security and information management workshop.
Among those detained were Eser and seven other human rights defenders, two foreign trainers – a German and a Swedish national – as well as the hotel owner, Amnesty's statement said.
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.
The whereabouts of Idil Eser and the others detained alongside her are currently unknown.
Idil Eser and the other detainees have been denied access to lawyers, which police are entitled to do for 24 hours, and the right to contact a family member. Police have told lawyers that they will be given information at 2.30 pm today.
Amnesty International Türkiye Director İdil Eser, Amnesty International Turkey Branch - Veli Acı, Women's Coalition - İlknur Üstün, Citizens Association - Nalan Erkem and Özlem Dalkıran, Human Rights Agenda Association - Günal Kurşun, Equal Rights Monitoring Associations - Nejat Taştan, Activist Şeyhmus Özbekli and moderator Ali Garawi.
These detentions come less than a month after Amnesty International’s Turkey chair, Taner Kılıç, was remanded in prison custody.
Erdoğan accuses Gülen of plotting the June 2016 attempted coup. Over 50,000 people have been imprisoned pending trial and 150,000 have been suspended or dismissed from their jobs over their alleged link to Gulen. Turkey has also closed 130 media outlets and imprisoned nearly 160 journalists. (EVRENSEL DAILY)