5,347 actions taken
Help us reach 5,000
Melike and Özgür organised numerous marches, meetings and other events in support of the LGTBI+ community at their university.
When their university banned the Pride march on their campus. The students organised a Pride sit-in instead. But in response the university called the police who then used excessive force.
They also arrested Melike and Ozgur, along with other students, who are now on trial. If sentenced, they could face 3 years in prison.
Send an email to the Turkish authorities now calling for their acquittal.
Students defending LGTBI+ rights in Turkey
From day one, students Melike and Özgür dedicated themselves to defending lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI+) rights at their university.
As prominent members of the LGBTI+ Solidarity Group at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, they’ve organised numerous marches and events. They’ve engaged with an ever-growing number of students, against a backdrop of increasing homophobia and restrictions on freedom of expression in Turkey.
"We need your support, all around the world to defeat this homophobia and transphobia around us." - Melike
The group of students have organised an annual Pride march on campus since 2011. Over the years, Pride on their campus grew in size and visibility.
However, in 2019, the university’s management told the students the Pride march that they had planned could not go ahead on campus. Undeterred, the Solidarity Group staged a Pride sit-in instead.
In response, the university called the police who used excessive force, including tear gas, against the peaceful protesters. Police arrested at least 23 students – including Melike and Özgür – and an academic. Some of those detained hadn’t even taken part in the protest.
Despite simply exercising their right to peaceful protest, 18 students and the academic are on trial. If found guilty, they face up to three years in prison.
Email the Minister of Justice urging them to drop the charges against the students.
Other ways to help
22-year old student Gustavo was protesting against inequality in Chile when special forces fired metal and rubber bullets into his eyes.
Gustavo was blinded. To this day, the police responsible have not been held to account.
Will you email the Chilean authorities demanding a proper investigation?
Nassima was kept in solitary confinement for a year. Her crime? Asking for the right to drive.
Nassima fought for women in Saudi Arabia to have the right to drive - and won. But now, she is in jail for her bravery.
The mother of three has been abused and her jail term is indefinite.
As Saudi Arabia hosts the G20 this month, urge the UK government to call for the release of Nassima and other women's rights campaigners in Saudi Arabia.