The Crisis in Cizre continues

Amnesty International today renewed its call for Turkish authorities to allow emergency medical care for injured individuals stranded in a basement in the town of Cizre, where they sought shelter on 23 January amid ongoing clashes between the army and the armed individuals affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

“This is a desperate situation: injured individuals, some of whom are apparently bleeding heavily, are at grave risk of dying if they do not urgently receive medical care,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey.

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Turkish soldier in Cizre/DHA

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Posted in Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Anti-terrorism, Excessive Force, Kurds, Military, Minorities, Turkey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

New Urgent Action: Injured, Stranded, and in Urgent Need of Care

Amnesty International has issued another urgent action today, this time a plea to save 24 people stranded and injured in the city of Cizre.

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Turkish soldier in Cizre/DHA

An estimated 24 injured people are stranded in a building’s basement in the town of Cizre, Şırnak province, in south-eastern Turkey. Some of them are seriously injured and require emergency medical care. Four people among the injured have reportedly died from their injuries while waiting for emergency medical care. The town of Cizre has been under a 24-hour curfew since 14 December as police and army conduct operations against the armed group Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H).

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Posted in Amnesty International, Anti-terrorism, Excessive Force, PKK, Turkey, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Amnesty: Despite partial lifting of curfew in Silopi, situation still dire

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AFP photo

After more than a month of round-the-clock curfews, the governor of Şırnak province has partially lifted the curfew in Silopi.  Round-the-clock indefinite curfews continue in the town of Cizre (also in Şırnak province) and Sur district, in the city of Diyarbakır.
Amnesty International makes clear in an updated an updated Urgent Action today, that, both in Silopi and in other areas subject to government operations, the situation is dire.

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Posted in Amnesty International, Excessive Force, Freedom of Expression, Kurds, Military, Minorities, PKK, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Amnesty calls on Turkey to End Abusive Operations

People look at buildings which were damaged during the security operations and clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants, in Sur district of Diyarbakir, Turkey

People look at buildings which were damaged during the security operations and clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants, in Sur district of Diyarbakir, Turkey, December 11, 2015. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

In a briefing and press release today (January 21) , Amnesty International renewed its call to Turkish authorities to “end the indefinite curfews in Kurdish neighbourhoods across east and south-east Turkey.”

For several months, Amnesty International has been urging the government to end disproportionate restrictions on movement, including round-the-clock curfews, and other arbitrary measures which have left residents without access to emergency health care, food, water and electricity for extended periods. The draconian restrictions imposed during indefinite curfews, some of which have been in place for over a month, increasingly resemble collective punishment, and must end.

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Posted in Academic Freedom, Andrew Gardner, Anti-terrorism, Erdogan, Excessive Force, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Press, Impunity, Kurds, PKK, Press Freedom, Terrorism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hrant Dink: 9 Years and Still Awaiting Justice

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Amnesty: Detention of Academics New Assault on Freedom of Expression

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan/Reuters

Described in a televised speech Tuesday by President Tayyip Erdogan as “traitors”  academics who had signed a speech critical of Turkish military operations in the south-east are now the target of harassment, threats, and police investigations.    The detention of at least 19 academics, Amnesty said today, “represents a new assault on the imperilled right to freedom of expression.” [Media reports that the number has risen since the Amnesty statement was released]

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Posted in Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Erdogan, Excessive Force, Freedom of Expression, Kurds, Minorities, Terrorism, Turkey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Amnesty condemns Istanbul bombing

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Turkish Police sealed off a central Istanbul square in the historic Sultanahmet district after a large explosion/Reuters

In the wake of a horrific attack in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district today, Amnesty International issued a public statement condemning the bombing and calling for “a prompt, impartial, and thorough investigation”:

Amnesty International condemns the bombing, apparently targeting civilians in the main square of Sultanahmet shortly after 10am this morning. The square is at the heart of Istanbul’s old city, a crowded part of the city, popular with local people and tourists. According to a statement by the Istanbul Governor’s office shortly after the blast, 10 people had been killed and a further 15 injured. The location of the bombing appears calculated to inflict as many civilian casualties as possible. Attacks targeting civilians violate the most basic principles of international law and show contempt for the right to life. No individual or group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Amnesty International calls on the Turkish authorities to conduct a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation and to bring all those responsible for the bombing to justice.

Posted in Amnesty International, Terrorism, Turkey | Tagged , , ,

Amnesty issues Urgent Action on Curfews

Riot police fire tear gas to disperse demonstrators during a protest against the curfew in Sur district, in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, December 14, 2015. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

Riot police fire tear gas to disperse demonstrators during a protest against the curfew in Sur district, in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir, Turkey, December 14, 2015. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

Amnesty International has issued an Urgent Action, calling attention to rights abuses in Turkey as security forces launch military operations against the armed Revolutionary Patriotic Youth Movement (YDG-H) the youth wing of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).  The clashes have so far cost scores of lives.   Some 200,000 people live in the affected areas and “and some are unable to access food, medical care and face severe electricity and water shortages.”

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Posted in Amnesty International, Anti-terrorism, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression, Kurds, Military, Minorities, PKK, Terrorism, Turkey, Urgent Action | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Amnesty Calls for Release of Journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

Turkey’s case against journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül represents “another deplorable attempt by the authorities to silence dissenting voices in the Turkish press,” Amnesty International said in a public statement today.  It called on authorities to release them from pre-trial detention and for the charges against them to be dropped.

Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief of opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, right, and Erdem Gul, the paper's Ankara representative, left, speak to the media outside a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015.  Turkey's Anadolu state-run news agency says a prosecutor has demanded that Dundar and Gul be jailed on charges of terror propaganda and for revealing state secrets, when the Cumhuriyet paper published what it said were images of Turkish trucks carrying ammunition to Syrian militants. (AP Photo/Vedat Arik, Cumhuriyet)

Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief the newspaper Cumhuriyet, right, and Erdem Gul, the paper’s Ankara representative, left, speak to the media outside a courthouse in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Vedat Arik, Cumhuriyet)

The journalists are accused of “procuring and disclosing information for the purposes of espionage” and participation in the “Fetullah Gülen / Parallel State Structure terrorist organisation.”  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had announced as early as June that the journalists would “pay a high price” for their reporting.

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Posted in Amnesty International, Andrew Gardner, Anti-terrorism, Cumhuriyet, Erdogan, Freedom of Expression, Freedom of Press, Military, Turkey | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Amnesty’s Andrew Gardner on Turkey: Human Rights Situation “Going from bad to worse”

Amnesty International’s Turkey Researcher, Andrew Gardner, gave a lengthy interview in Today’s Zaman in which he outlined the current conditions of human rights in Turkey.

Andrew Gardner

Andrew Gardner

Gardner says that “this year, the human rights situation has gone from bad to worse. But it’s not just human rights — fundamental pillars, such as an independent and impartial judiciary, are also looking very bad.”  The article is worth reading in full and can be accessed here.

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