Turkey: re-arrest of four human rights defenders a "cruel and retrograde step"
Responding to news that the Turkish authorities have issued detention orders against four human rights defenders released on bail on Tuesday, John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director for Europe, said:
“With this cruel and retrograde step, Turkey has underlined its growing reputation as an indiscriminate jailer of civil society activists and a stranger to the rule of law.”
One of the four, Nalan Erkem, was detained from her house in Istanbul last night. A second, İlknur Üstün, was detained from her home in Ankara today (22 July).
John Dalhuisen said:
“These four people should never have been detained in the first place. Having already endured twelve days behind bars, they are forced to relive the ordeal yet again. Instead of dropping the baseless investigation, the Turkish authorities have raised their absurdity to fresh heights.”
The four human rights defenders will now join their six co-suspects behind bars, including the director of Amnesty International Turkey.
The four human rights defenders who are the subject of the detention order are İlknur Üstün (Women's Coalition), Şeyhmus Özbekli (Rights Initiative), Nejat Taştan (Equal Rights Watch Association) and Nalan Erkem, (Citizens Assembly).
Those already in prison are İdil Eser (Amnesty International), Günal Kurşun (Human Rights Agenda Association), Özlem Dalkıran (Citizens’ Assembly), Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association) Ali Gharavi (IT strategy consultant) and Peter Steudtner (non-violence and wellbeing trainer).