Amnesty responds to “Draconian Reforms”

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Amnesty International has responded to the security bill just passed by Turkey’s Parliament, calling the legislation “draconian” and likely to “[facilitate] facilitates the already widespread practice of arbitrary detentions during protests and paves the way for further human rights violations including politically motivated criminal investigations and violations of the right to life.”
Read the press statement in its entirety, here.

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Turkey: Don’t Deport Arubika Suleymanova. Amnesty Issues Urgent Action

Days after it condemned the murder of a Tajik opposition figure in Istanbul, Amnesty International has issued an urgent action in the case of Arubika Suleymanova, a Russian citizen of Chechen origin, who is facing deportation from Turkey.  Amnesty is concerned that, if returned she faces the risk of ill-treatment, torture, or unfair trial.  It urges Turkish authorities not to return Arubika Suleymanova to the Russian Federation or any third country from which she is at risk of being returned to the Russian Federation.

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Posted in Amnesty International, Arubika Suleymanova, Chechen, Deportation, Due Process, Russia, Terrorism, Torture, Urgent Action | Tagged ,

Another Gezi Trial

© Eren Aytuğ / NarPhotos — with Safiye Karaer.  Used by permission

© Eren Aytuğ / NarPhotos — with Safiye Karaer. Used by permission

A complainant who does not want to be a complainant, a courtroom that fits 50 for a trial that has 255 defendants and a foreign defendant who is not allowed to enter the country to defend himself: these are just a few of the remarkable things that happened in last week’s hearing in the Gezi Park case. And the trial does not look like it will end any time soon!

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Posted in Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression, Gezi Park | Tagged , , , , , ,

Amnesty condemns assassination of Tajik dissident, calls on Turkey to act

_81441463_quvvatov In a press release today, Amnesty International has condemned the murder of Umarali Kuvvatov in Istanbul.  Amnesty also warned that his associates are at grave risk of further attacks. Denis Krivosheev, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe and Central Asia Programme Director notes:

Umarali Kuvvatov’s killing sends a chilling and extreme message to Tajikistani political dissenters both at home and abroad. The Turkish authorities must lead an impartial, effective and prompt investigation into his unlawful killing, reveal the full truth and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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Posted in Amnesty International, Freedom of Expression, Refugees, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Amnesty on Turkey’s Worsening Human Rights Record: 11 Key Issues

BDpHSIbpqpGYciy-800x450-noPadAt midnight tonight, Amnesty International issued its Annual Report, The State of the World’s Human Rights.  There is grim reading throughout.  This was a tough year for human rights worldwide.

Below I’ll try to outline the main issues that Amnesty has raised regarding the declining human rights conditions Turkey, where, according to Amnesty, “authorities have become more authoritarian in dealing with critics,” undermining the independence of the judiciary, introducing new restrictions on internet freedoms, and “[handing] unprecedented powers to the country’s intelligence agency.”

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Posted in Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression, Gezi Park, Impunity, Internet Freedom, Press Freedom, Taksim, Teargas, Turkey, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Amnesty: “Domestic Security Bill” Threatens Human Rights

© Serra Akcan / NarPhotos  Used by permission

© Serra Akcan / NarPhotos Used by permission

Amnesty International today condemned a controversial “domestic security bill” currently before the Turkish Parliament.  Issuing an urgent action to its worldwide membership, Amnesty stated that the legal changes  “threaten human rights, including the prospect of increased arbitrary detention, excessive use of firearms by police and politically motivated criminal investigations if passed into law.”  Other human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, have raised similar concerns.

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Amnesty Issues Urgent Action in Case of Detained Protestor (Updated Feb. 17, 18)

Amnesty International has initiated an urgent action in the case of Onur Kılıç, who was detained on 13 February for “insulting the President” during a protest.  He could face up to four years in prison under these charges.

Onur Kılıç

Onur Kılıç

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Turkish Court Ignores ECHR ruling, sentences conscientious objector

Mehmet Tarhan

Mehmet Tarhan

Earlier this week, a military court in Sivas convicted conscientious objector Mehmet Tarhan for “failing to obey orders,” sentencing him to fifteen months in prison, which was then converted to a 9000 Lira fine.  The conviction is particularly shocking because the ECHR has issued a series of rulings against Turkey in conscientious objection cases, including one in 2012 brought by Mehmet Tarhan himself. Continue reading

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Another casualty in Turkey’s war on journalists

The news today that Dutch journalist, Frederike Geerdink, is being prosecuted under anti-terror statutes is, sadly, unsurprising.  The prosecution of journalists in Turkey, is after all, hardly a rare occurrence; seldom does a week go by when a journalist in Turkey is not subject to prosecutionBut as I noted in an earlier blog on the case, the targeting of a foreigner suggests that the Turkish government is “increasingly unhindered by Western criticism.”  External checks on Turkey’s internal repression seem less and less effective.

At the heart of these prosecutions are an increasingly politicized judiciary and a series of laws which make it easy to target voices perceived as critical to the state.

Fréderike Geerdink

Fréderike Geerdink

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Posted in Amnesty International, Freedom of Expression, Press Freedom | Tagged , , , , , ,

The Ali Ismail Korkmaz Trial

page_ali-ismail-korkmaz-davasinda-4-tutuklama-istemi_174204089Ali Ismail Korkmaz was among those killed by police violence during the Gezi protests in June, 2013. He was 19.

Yesterday, there was a modicum of justice in the case when a Turkish court found six guilty in his death.

Korkmaz was savagely beaten on June 2, 2013 during the Gezi Protests. In a statement to authorities before he died, Korkmaz he described the attack:

Five or six people came up to me, they beat me with clubs on my head, back, shoulder and legs. I fell to the ground….Yesterday I didn’t have difficulty in speaking, but today I can’t remember. One of my teeth is loose because of the incident. My head hurts, I have difficulty speaking. I don’t know who beat me or why. They were wearing civilian clothes. I want to make a complaint

Korkmaz was admitted to a hospital after making his statement, but soon fell into a coma. He died on July 10, 2013. Continue reading

Posted in Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Association, Freedom of Expression, Gezi Park, Impunity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , ,