Tell Turkey to free Amnesty Director Idil Eser & other rights defenders

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Amnesty leaders unjustly jailed in widespread crackdown on human rights defenders.



July 20, 2017: International pressure mounts on Turkey as world leaders demand the release of jailed activists, including Amnesty Director, Idil Eser.  

Every day, these women and men risk their own safety to defend others. They speak out for people’s freedom, they challenge injustices and they fight for everyone in Turkey to be treated fairly.

Now they need your help.

A court in Turkey has just sent several human rights defenders to prison, including Amnesty’s Turkey Director İdil Eser, less than a month after jailing Amnesty's Chair, Taner Kılıç. Turkey has locked these activists up, just when they are needed most: when the independent media has been silenced, speaking out comes at a high cost and people are living in fear. Every day that they are detained, the people they speak up for are left vulnerable to the government’s ongoing crackdown on freedoms.

None of them has done anything wrong. Taner has been wrongly accused of “membership of the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization”, while İdil and the others have been imprisoned and accused of the unfounded suspicion of “committing a crime in the name of a terrorist organization”: both ridiculous and baseless accusations. Some activists who were releasedon bail, have now been ordered back to prison in what is a cruel and retrograde step by Turkish authorities. 

The Turkish authorities must immediately release all detainees, and stop the witch-hunt against all 11 human rights defenders.


The six human rights defenders charges and/or remanded in custody and joining Amnesty’s Taner Kılıç behind bars are İdil Eser (Amnesty International), Günal Kurşun and Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association), Özlem Dalkıran (Citizens’ Assembly), Ali Gharavi (IT strategy consultant) and Peter Steudtner (non-violence and wellbeing trainer), Nalan Erkem (Citizens Assembly), İlknur Üstün (Women's Coalition), Nejat Taştan (Equal Rights Watch Association) and Şeyhmus Özbekli (Rights Initiative).

Learn more: 

Re-arrest of four human rights defenders a cruel and retrograde step

Canada alarmed at deteriorating human rights situation in Turkey 

Press Release: Jailing of activists, including Amnesty director, a crushing blow for rights in Turkey

Visit our Human Rights in Turkey page to learn more about the human rights crisis.

To: Mr. Abdulhamit Gül, Minister of Justice, Republic of Turkey Dear Minister,

I am appalled to hear that the second Amnesty International Turkey leader has been imprisoned, on unfounded and baseless accusations, within the space of a few weeks.

Amnesty's Taner Kılıç was imprisoned after being wrongly accused of membership of the “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization”. Now Amnesty's Idil Eser, as well as nine other human rights defenders have been accussed and/or imprisoned pending trial on the suspicion of “assisting an armed terrorist organisation”: a ridiculous and baseless accusation.

Another four have been released on bail, but are still under investigation. They were doing nothing wrong. It has not escaped the world’s notice that this kind of attack on Human Rights Defenders is becoming more frequent in Turkey.

You must ensure immediate and unconditional release of all detainees and that this baseless investigation against all 11 human rights defenders is dropped.

Yours sincerely,