July 11, 2017
Several Turkish human rights associations have slammed a number of media reports on the recent detention of human rights activists for “defaming and criminalizing” the rights activists.
Ten human rights activists were detained on July 5 at a conference on Istanbul’s Büyükada Island, prompting a number of pro-government media outlets to accuse them of being involved in “intelligence activities” with foreign powers.
“It is impossible for us to accept news articles defaming and criminalizing them despite official statements that the investigations are still ongoing. Issues that have not even been told to lawyers and suspects, and those not included in the investigation files, are published as though they were real,” Human Rights Association (İHD) president Öztürk Türkdoğan said in a joint press conference on July 11.
“The way the activists were detained, the treatment they faced and the articles published about them are violating the principle of the presumption of innocence and human rights,” Türkdoğan said in the conference attended by six rights groups including Amnesty International’s Turkey branch, the Human Rights Association (İHD), and the Turkish Human Rights Foundation (TİHV).
“[News reports] have spoken about Gezi [2013 anti-government protests], or a new coup attempt. These things are beyond imagination,” he added
Oya Aydın, a lawyer, said lawyers have not been able to obtain information about the accusations as a confidentiality order has been imposed on the investigation.