Tag Archives: Amnesty International

Turkey/AI: OVER 40 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS URGE PRESIDENT TRUMP TO CALL ON TURKEY TO DROP CHARGES AGAINST TANER KILIÇ AND THE ISTANBUL 10 SHARE

December 13, 2017

Over 40 members of Congress recently sent a letter urging President Trump to call on Turkish officials to stop the prosecution of human rights defenders, drop charges against Taner Kılıç and the Istanbul 10, and immediately and unconditionally release those still in detention. This letter was co-sponsored by Representatives Randy Hultgren and Jim McGovern.

It states: “If these prosecutions are allowed to move forward without a clear response from the United States government, a precedent will be set that will not only threaten the legitimate work of Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, but will also embolden authoritarian regimes around the world. The Turkish government must understand that business as usual cannot continue under these conditions. The costs for human rights in Turkey – and for human rights around the world – will be immensely and unacceptably high.”

“We welcome Congressional support for Taner and the Istanbul 10, especially in light of the court’s decision to keep Taner behind bars. When human rights defenders are attacked for speaking up for fundamental rights, all our freedoms are put at risk,” said Naureen Shah, senior director of campaigns at Amnesty International USA. “Peaceful activists must be allowed to do their important work without fear of arrest or persecution in order to ensure a stable society with rights for all.”

https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/over-40-members-of-congress-urge-president-trump-to-call-on-turkey-to-drop-charges-against-taner-kilic-and-the-istanbul-10/

https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-interior-minister-55665-jailed-234419-passports-revoked-since-coup-attempt

http://aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-over-140-feto-linked-suspects-arrested/1003090

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taner_K%C4%B1l%C4%B1%C3%A7

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2017/09/who-are-the-istanbul-ten-and-why-have-they-been-imprisoned-in-turkey/

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Egypt/Turkey: Human rights advocates under threat worldwide

December 10, 2017

Mohamed Zaree (picture alliance/AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

“It’s very difficult trying to hide where I’m going from my kids, and trying to make my mom feel that everything will be fine – with them knowing I’m lying,” Egyptian human rights lawyer Mohamed Zaree, looking visibly tense, told a TV reporter on May 23, 2017, one day prior to his court hearing in Cairo. The authorities have alleged that Zaree represents a security threat and that he has tarnished his country’s reputation.

“These charges could put me in jail for 25 years,” Zaree explained. And added: “My kids will grow up without me. I’m concerned about all of this; there are so many things on my mind.”

The following day, Zaree was released on bail. But the charges against him have not been dropped. During his time as the Egypt office director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Mohamed Zaree co-authored a 2014 report on the country’s human rights situation. UN member states are expected to regularly produce such “Universal Periodic Reviews” and submit them to the United Nations Human Rights Council to help assess human rights situations in each country.

Protective human rights awards

This year, Mohamed Zaree won the Martin Ennals Award — a prize that is sometimes referred to as the “Nobel Prize for human rights”.

http://www.dw.com/en/human-rights-advocates-under-threat-worldwide/a-41728317

http://www.martinennalsaward.org/hrd/mohamed-zaree/

AI: States worldwide failing to prevent killings and disappearances of human rights defenders

December 5, 2017

Image result for amnesty international

States around the world are failing in their duty to effectively protect people who defend human rights, leading to an escalation in preventable killings and enforced disappearances, Amnesty International said today.

The organization’s new report, Deadly but Preventable Attacks: Killings and Enforced Disappearances of Those who Defend Human Rights, highlights the growing risks faced by human rights defenders – people from all walks of life who work to promote and defend human rights.

The report includes testimonies from friends, relatives and colleagues of human rights defenders, including environmentalists, LGBTIQ and women’s rights activists, journalists and lawyers, who have been killed or disappeared. Many described how victims’ pleas for protection had been repeatedly ignored by the authorities and how the attackers had evaded justice, fuelling a deadly cycle of impunity.

“We spoke to families of killed and forcibly disappeared human rights defenders all over the world, and kept hearing the same thing: these people knew their lives were at risk,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Head of Amnesty International’s Global Human Rights Defenders Programme.

“Their deaths or disappearances had been preceded by a string of previous attacks, which authorities turned a blind eye to or even encouraged. If states had taken their human rights obligations seriously and acted diligently on reports of threats and other abuses, lives could have been saved.”

Amnesty International’s new report brings together stories from around the world to illustrate the rise in preventable attacks on HRDs and highlights a chilling pattern of impunity. Cases include:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/12/states-worldwide-failing-to-prevent-killings-and-disappearances-of-human-rights-defenders/

Egypt/AI: LETTER OF THE DAY: Amnesty International’s ‘Write for Rights’ event

December 4, 2017

Azza Soliman, lawyer, Head of the Centre for Egyptian Women's Legal Aid and co-ordinator of the Feminist Coalition

Once again Amnesty International have organised their Write for Rights campaign where anyone can write in support of any of ten people and groups suffering human rights abuses.

Across the world from Mexico, Turkey, Sudan, Russia,Cambodia, Poland, to Kazakhstan, journalists are being murdered and imprisoned.

The Istanbul 10 are human rights defenders who have tried to defend the human rights of journalists, activists, and dissenting voices and are now themselves in prison awaiting trial.

In Sudan, Dr Mudawi Ibrahim Adam, an engineering professor, was imprisoned for most of this year for exposing human rights violations.

Although he has been released he is still under surveillance and in danger.

Ni Yulan, a housing activist in China, was imprisoned for defending Beijing residents against forced eviction.

She suffers continual harassment after her release.

Azza Soliman, a women’s rights lawyer in Egypt faces imprisonment on three trumped-up charges.

https://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/your-say/letter-of-the-day-amnesty-international-s-write-for-rights-event-1-8273782

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrest-azza-soliman

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azza_Soliman (FRANCAIS)

Turkey: Amnesty launches world’s biggest human rights campaign

November 29, 2017

Image result for Istanbul 10

The family of an LGBTI activist hacked to death in Bangladesh, the sister of a young man gunned down by Jamaican police, and 11 human rights defenders in Turkey are among those who will be receiving letters of support from Amnesty International supporters this December, as the organization launches its fifteenth global letter writing campaign, Write for Rights.

Every December, Amnesty International supporters across the globe write millions of letters and take actions for people whose human rights are under attack, in what has become the world’s biggest human rights campaign. Last year at least 4.6 million actions were taken.

“For 15 years Write for Rights has given people hope in their darkest moments. Imagine being ill in jail and receiving thousands of letters of support and solidarity; or finding out that people all over the world are behind you in your quest for justice for a murdered relative. Writing letters really can change lives,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

“All over the world human rights defenders are under attack, treated like criminals simply for expressing themselves online or protecting the environment, and it’s more important than ever that we show them they’re not alone.

“Write for Rights sends a powerful message to the authorities that we are watching them. Though they may be able to harass, censor or jail individuals, they cannot silence the millions of people around the world who stand in solidarity with them.”

This year, for the first time, those receiving letters include two Amnesty International figures, who are on trial on baseless ‘terrorism’ related charges in Turkey on account of their human rights work. The chair of Amnesty Turkey, Taner Kılıç, was arrested on 6 June 2017 and remains in jail. Amnesty Turkey’s Director İdil Eser, and one of its founding members, Özlem Dalkıran, were among 10 human rights defenders detained while attending a human rights workshop on 5 July. They were released in October after almost four months in jail but are still facing charges.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/11/amnesty-launches-worlds-biggest-human-rights-campaign/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/11/turkey-the-travesty-of-justice-continues-for-taner-and-the-istanbul-10/

http://www.northumberlandtoday.com/2017/11/27/writing-for-rights-in-northumberland-with-amnesty-international

The CCBE President wrote a letter of concern to President Erdogan

http://www.ccbe.eu/fileadmin/speciality_distribution/public/documents/HUMAN_RIGHTS_LETTERS/Turkey_-_Turquie/2017/EN_HRL_20171116_Turkey_Concerns-regarding-the-situation-of-lawyers-inTurkey.pdf

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1086927/les-defenseurs-des-droits-humains-de-plus-en-plus-cibles-dattaques-amnesty-international.html  (FRANCAIS)

Turkey/India/AI: Taner Kilic ‘terrorism’ trial: Indian government must help tackle Turkey’s suppression of human rights activists

November 26, 2017

File image of Taner Kilic. Image courtesy: Amnesty International

I am writing this from Istanbul, where I am attending a terrorism trial in court as an observer. The trial is that of the chair and director of Amnesty International Turkey. Some readers may know that I am also part the global movement, and am the executive director of Amnesty India. My colleagues Idil Aser and Taner Kilic are part of a group of people standing trial on charges of being members of a terrorist organisation.

Idil was given bail a few weeks earlier and I met her outside the court, but Taner is still in prison in Izmir, which is around 500 kilometres from Istanbul. He joined the trial by video link. He has been in jail since June.

The activists were charged after a workshop on digital security that was held in a hotel. The government claims, absurdly, that this was a secret meeting that was organised to spy and participate in a coup. Two foreign nationals, a German and a Swede, are also on trial in the matter but out on bail. The case is thin on substance and the main accusation against Taner is that he had downloaded an app on his phone.

This app, called Bylock, is used for encrypted communication, like WhatsApp. The Turkish government claims that Bylock was used by supporters to communicate secretly before a coup attempt last year. The claim about Taner is without foundation. Amnesty conducted two forensic examinations of Taner’s phone, including one by the international technology firm SecureWorks, and found zero trace of the ByLock app on the phone. This was confirmed by an expert in the court hearing at which I was present at and I’ll give some more details about that.

http://www.firstpost.com/world/taner-kilic-terrorism-trial-indian-government-must-help-tackle-turkeys-suppression-of-human-rights-activists-4228091.html

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/opinion/op-ed/261117/the-case-of-disappearing-human-rights.html

Turkey: Court decision to keep Amnesty Chair in jail flies in the face of reason

November 22, 2017

Image result for taner kilic

Responding to today’s decision by the Istanbul Court to continue the pre-trial detention of Amnesty International’s Turkey Chair, Taner Kılıç, John Dalhuisen said:

“Today in court lawyers for the defence and an independent expert witness demolished the prosecution’s arguments. All the evidence shows Taner is innocent but this evening he was nevertheless sent back to the overcrowded cell where he has spent more than five months.”

“The court’s decision to ignore this evidence and continue his detention flies in the face of reason. It is yet another opportunity missed to correct a gross injustice. We will continue to fight for his release and for the dropping of all charges against both him and the Istanbul 10.”

The next court hearing has been set for 31 January, 2018

The restrictions to Taner receiving visits from his lawyers have been lifted as have the travel bans on Özlem Dalkıran, Nejat Taştan and Veli Acu as conditions for their bail. Şeyhmus Özbekli’s reporting requirements have also been lifted.

Taner told the court that he has been held with 23 other people in an 8-person cell.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/11/turkey-court-decision-to-keep-amnesty-chair-in-jail-flies-in-the-face-of-reason/

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/11/call-amnesty-turkey-head-release-trial-resumes-171122085828243.html

https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/turkey/events/article/turkey-human-rights-trial-of-taner-kilic-turkish-head-of-amnesty-international

https://turkeypurge.com/turkish-court-rules-continuation-amnesty-heads-imprisonment

http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-turkey-human-rights-trial-20171122-story.html

https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/trump-administration-must-press-turkish-prime-minister-to-drop-charges-against-taner-kilic-and-the-istanbul-10/

https://www.voanews.com/a/rights-group-calls-for-release-of-detained-chairman/4106836.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-rights/after-four-months-jail-turkeys-amnesty-director-says-trial-is-surreal-idUSKBN1D318X

Weekly Report: The Persecution On Turkish Lawyers (23-29 October)

The 20 Members of Konya Bar Association Including Former President Kayacan were sentenced range to 2 and 11 years imprisonment

https://turkeypurge.com/former-konya-bar-association-head-gets-10-years-in-prison-on-coup-charge

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/10/27/civil-society-trial-turkey

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/25/turkish-judge-bails-eight-amnesty-human-rights-activists

http://www.businessinsider.com/ap-activists-accused-of-aiding-terror-groups-on-trial-in-turkey-2017-10?IR=T

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/turkey-rights-activists-trial-terror-links-171025104149937.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/25/amnesty-turkish-chair-taner-kilic-on-trial-over-failed-coup

https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/eyes-of-the-world-on-turkey-as-show-trial-of-human-rights-activists-begins/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41753592

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/10/who-will-defend-the-defenders/

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/10/turkey-rights-activists-trial-terror-links-171025104149937.html

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/25/amnesty-turkish-chair-taner-kilic-on-trial-over-failed-coup

https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/10/24/turkey-rights-defenders-trial-doing-their-work

http://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/istanbul-files-indictment-against-40-feto-lawyers-2798084

Lawyer Engin Gokoglu was subjected torture in prison

https://stockholmcf.org/un-experts-call-for-dropping-of-terror-charges-against-leading-human-rights-defenders/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/10/turkey-dismay-as-fantastical-allegations-accepted-by-court/

Report: The Persecution On Turkish Lawyers (10-19 October)

http://aa.com.tr/en/turkey/more-than-75-feto-suspects-arrested-across-turkey/976632

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/opinion/op-ed/261117/the-case-of-disappearing-human-rights.html

https://www.franceinter.fr/emissions/dans-le-pretoire/dans-le-pretoire-10-novembre-2017 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.avocatparis.org/turquie-communique-de-lobservatoire-international-des-avocats-en-danger-oiad (FRANCAIS)

http://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-wews171019.htm (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.fr/liberte-d-expression/actualites/taner-kilic-maintenu-en-detention-le-deni-de-justice?utm_medium=reseaux-sociaux&utm_source=facebook (FRANCAIS)