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Urgent Action: Istanbul vigils must be allowed to take place

On 25 August, police in Istanbul used unnecessary and excessive force, including tear gas, plastic bullets and water cannons, to disperse participants of a weekly vigil- known as the ‘Saturday Mothers vigil’- held for victims of enforced disappearance. The longstanding protest was marking its 700th week since it was first held in 1995. Scores of participants, including elderly relatives of people who were forcibly disappeared, were ill-treated and 47 people were detained before being released from police custody later that day.

Take action

Write a letter or send a fax calling on Turkish authorities to:

  • The Ministry of Interior to ensure that future planned vigils can go ahead without any unlawful restrictions and that vigil participants can exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly;
  • The Ministry of Justice to conduct a prompt, impartial, independent and effective investigation into allegations of unnecessary and excessive use of force and ill-treatment committed by police officers on 25 August against vigil participants and bring all those found to be responsible to justice in proceedings that meet fair trial standards.

Send your appeals to these officials before 10 October:

Minister of Interior
Mr. Süleyman Soylu
İçişleri Bakanlığı
Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 418 1795
Salutation: Dear Minister

Minister of Justice 
Mr. Abdülhamit Gül
Adalet Bakanlığı 
06659 Ankara,
Fax: +90 (0312) 419 33 70
Salutation: Dear Minister

With copies to:

His Excellency Mr Abdurrahman Bilgiç
Embassy of the Republic of Turkey
43 Belgrave Square SW1X 8PA
020 7393 0202 

Download the full UA as a pdf here.
Download the full UA in word here.