Şengül:Turkey detained human rights defenders to hide the violations

Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) deputy secretary general in charge of organisation stressed that the Turkish government detained human rights activists to hide the violations in the country. Turkish government detained human rights activists to hide the violations in Turkey, IHD deputy secretary general in charge of organisation Necla Şengül said.

Her remarks came after Turkish police arrested human rights activists in Istanbul, on July 5th. Idil Eser, Amnesty International’s director in Turkey in among the 11 activists arrested.

“The arrested activists are leading experts in human rights. They were deliberately targeted by the government” Şengül said.

Şengül also condemned false reports about the activists by the Turkish media, saying: “The human rights activists were accused for being a spy, being a member of terrorist organization. These are really and only funny claims. Who saw them holding a gun? Who can show us a proof that they committed violent crimes? These are the people who campaigned for Tayyip Erdoğan when he was arrested. If they look at their own past, they will see what these activist did for them.”

Şengül called on the Turkish authorities to immediately release the arrested activists, remarking that the Turkish government is attacking human rights activists in an attempt to hide human rights violations in the country.

Şengül recalled Turkish police raids after the report released by human rights organizations about the massacre in Cizre in 2016, saying: “IHD was subjected to immense pressure. Our representatives in Kurdistan were taken under custody. Some of them were arrested and sent to prison. We can not even get an appointment from government officials. All doors are shut against us.”

Citing the human rights situation in Turkey, Şengül said: “We will release the list of terminally ill patients in prisons. Torture, ill behaviour and violations are on the rise right now. The prisoners are subjected to torture in Edirne, Tarsus, Elazığ and Denizli prisons. These information are hidden from the public. We are the voice of those people. Therefore we know the reason of the government’s oppression against us.”

Turkish police detained 11 human rights activist, in a hotel in Büyükada, Istanbul as they gathered for a meeting on July 5th. The arrested activits are Nalan Erkem and Özlem Dalkıran (Helsinki Citizens Assembly), İlknur Üstün (Women’s Coalition), İdil Eser and Veli Acu (Amnesty International), Günal Kurşun (Human Rights Agenda Association), Nejat Taştan (Association for Monitoring Equal Rights), Şeyhmuz Özbekli and Ali Garawi, the moderator for the meeting.

The detentions came less than a month after a court ordered the arrest of the chairman of Amnesty’s Turkey branch, Taner Kılıç, on the same charge in a crackdown following an attempted military coup in July 2016. Kılıç remains in jail pending trial.

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