UN Calls for Dropping of Terror Charges in Turkey

Published: Tue 14 Nov 2017 09:21 AM
Turkey: UN Experts Call for Dropping of Terror Charges Against Leading Human Rights Defenders
A group of United Nations experts* has condemned the use of terrorism charges against human rights defenders and people legitimately expressing dissent in Turkey.
The experts highlighted a number of cases of concern, including the detention of Amnesty Turkey chair Taner Kiliç, the arrest of 10 human rights defenders in July on Buyukada Island, the detention of 14 lawyers from the People’s Law Office, and the recent arrest and charging of leading businessman and civil society activist Osman Kavala.
“We call for the immediate release of all the human rights defenders and lawyers concerned in these cases, and we appeal to the Turkish authorities to drop the charges of terrorism against them,” the experts said.
“These cases demonstrate a worrying pattern of silencing people whose work legitimately calls into question the views and policies of the Government.
“Most of these accusations of terrorism are based solely on actions such as downloading data protection software, publishing opinions disagreeing with the Government’s anti-terrorism policies, organizing demonstrations, or providing legal representation for other activists.”
The experts said they were concerned that most of the activists remained in detention in conditions that may amount to inhumane or degrading treatment, welcoming the news that some had been granted bail on 25 October 2017.
“Ever since the coup attempt in July 2016 we have witnessed with alarm the arrest, detention and prosecution of people voicing criticism of the Turkish Government and working to protect human rights,” said the experts.
“The people carrying out these activities are lawfully exercising their civil and political rights, and the Turkish authorities are failing to present evidence that such expression poses a risk to national security amounting to terrorism.”
The experts had previously voiced concerns on the issue of the detention of several human rights defenders on 14 July 2017.
*The UN experts: Ms. Annalisa Ciampi, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Mr. José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez, Chair-Rappourteur of theWorking Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mr. David Kaye, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; Ms. Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.
The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
Concerned about the world we live in? Then STAND UP for someone’s rights today. #Standup4humanrights and visit the web page at

Next in World

Stop the “monstrous annihilation” of Eastern Ghouta – Zeid
By: United Nations
70% of Tonga population affected in wake of Cyclone Gita
By: Oxfam NZ
Samoas clean up after being swamped by cyclone
German parties negotiate grand coalition
Children and families in need after Kiribati ferry disaster
By: Joint Press Release
NZ increases humanitarian funding for Syrian war victims
By: New Zealand Government
Zeid urges international action as violence soars in Syria
By: United Nations Human Rights Commissioner
PM to Tonga, Samoa, Niue, and the Cook Islands
By: New Zealand Government
Further Cyclone Gita help
By: New Zealand Government
Emergency relief supplies to depart for Tonga
By: New Zealand Government
New Zealand to assist following Cyclone Gita
By: New Zealand Government
Cyclone Gita - thoughts with the Pacific, MCDEM staffer sent
By: New Zealand Government
EU supports the victims of cyclone Gita in Tonga
By: Delegation of the European Union to the Pacific
Tropical Cyclone Gita: Tonga State of Emergency
By: Government of Tonga
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media