Amnesty issues urgent action in death of Afghani asylum seeker

Amnesty International issued Urgent Action regarding the death of an Afghan asylum-seeker and other asylum-seekers who are at risk of being returned to Afghanistan. Please encourage your friends and family to join this urgent letter writing campaign before August 5.

Lutfillah Tadjik, a 17 year-old Afghan asylum seeker was allegedly beaten to death by a Turkish police officer from the Foreigners Directorate Returns Centre in Van on May 31. Now, other six Afghans asylum-seekers who witnessed the assault are at risk of being returned to Afghanistan without having access to the refugee status determination procedure and before the ongoing investigation into Lutfillah Tadjik’s death has been completed.

Please write immediately in Turkish or your own language:

  • Calling on the authorities to conduct a prompt, thorough and independent investigation into the circumstances of Lutfillah Tadjik’s ill-treatment and death;
  • Urging them not to remove any witnesses to the assault from Turkey, and ensure that they receive adequate protection against any threats or intimidation;
  • Urging them not to return any of the Afghan detainees, in particular those who were witnesses to the assault, pending a prompt and fair examination of their asylum claims under the terms of the Foreigners and International Protection Law No. 6458 and in line with international standards;
  • Calling on them to ensure that asylum-seekers under 18 are treated in accordance with international law, in particular the principle of the best interests of the child.

Please send appeals to the following authorities BEFORE AUGUST 5:

Van Chief Prosecutor Mehmet Kaya (Salutation: Dear Prosecutor)

Van Cumhuriyet Başsavcısı
Cumhuriyet Cad.
Hükümet Konağı
65100 VAN
Fax: +90 (0) 432 212 04 89
+90 (0) 432 215 20 07
Email: vancbs@adalet.gov.tr
Minister of Interior Mr. Efkan Ala (Salutation: Dear Minister)
İçişleri Bakanlığı
Bakanlıklar
Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 (0) 312 418 17 95
Email: ozelkalem@icisleri.gov.tr

And copies to:

Minister of Justice Mr. Bekir Bozdağ 
Adalet Bakanlığı
06659 Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 (0)312 419 33 70
Email: ozelkalem@adalet.gov.tr
For those who live in the US, please send copy to:
Ambassador Serdar Kılıç
Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC
2525 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008

If you live outside the US, please check diplomatic representatives in your country by clicking here. 

This Urgent Action can be accessed on Amnesty International website here.

Posted in Uncategorized

After Gezi: Amnesty Issues Major New Report

The army of police, the limits on freedom of transport, the deserted center of the city.  A year after Gezi, this is the face of the new Turkey, where dissent is stifled with overwhelming force and massive police presence.

Clearly, the Turkish government has learned lessons from the protests which shook the country a year ago.  Unfortunately, they are the wrong ones: it has only redoubled its efforts to crush dissent and has learned to employ overwhelming police force to prevent outbreaks of dissent in locales that are accessible to international media.

With the shocking images of last year’s crackdown fading from the world’s memory, attention has slowly shifted elsewhere.  Amnesty International, in a lengthy and well-researched report issued today, entitled Turkey: Adding injustice to injury: One year on from the Gezi Park protests in Turkeyensures that the true nature of Turkey’s post-Gezi crackdown are clear.

Turkey: Adding injustice to injury: One year on from the Gezi Park protests in Turkey

Turkey: Adding injustice to injury: One year on from the Gezi Park protests in Turkey

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Posted in Amnesty International, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression, Gezi Park, Press Freedom, Taksim, Turkey | Tagged , , , ,

Big stuff coming up

Used by permission.   © Tolga Sezgin / Nar Photos

Used by permission. © Tolga Sezgin / Nar Photos

Some very important issues related to Turkish human rights coming up next week.  We’ll do our best to keep the blog up to date with current information: Continue reading

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

The Gezi Anniversary

Commemorating Abdullah Comert Adnan Onur Acar / NarPhotos  Used by permission

Commemorating Abdullah Comert Adnan Onur Acar / NarPhotos Used by permission

Check out my new blog on the anniversary of Gezi on our main Human Rights Now page.   I write, in part:

On the first anniversary of the Gezi Protests and their brutal suppression in Turkey, central Istanbul resembled nothing so much as a city under occupation. Public transportation into the city center was cancelled. Ferry service from the Asian to the European side of the metropolis was ended by the late afternoon. You could leave, but you couldn’t come back.

This is the image of the new Turkey, where dissent is stifled with overwhelming force and massive police presence.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged

Ali Ismail Korkmaz, one year on

A year ago today, Ali Ismail Korkmaz was beaten to death by police.  From the start, Turkish authorities seemed determined to undermine the quest for justice in the case. Following the attack, the Governor of Eskisehir said that police hadn’t been involved and that Ali Ismail Korkmaz had been beaten up ‘by his friends.’ Footage from a CCTV camera was deleted in the days following the incident, but was subsequently recovered by experts from the gendarmerie. Continue reading

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

Arriving in Istanbul on the Anniversary of Gezi

I arrived in Istanbul a few hours ago.   As it turns out family events happened to bring us to the city on the anniversary of  the Gezi protests and ensuing crackdown.

The streets of Besiktas, where I am staying, are lined with police buses.  Major arteries to in the city are being shut down in expectation of protests this evening.

Personally, I’m primarily worried about tear gas seeping into the house where I am staying to discomfort my daughter.  Explaining tear gas to my three year old is a little more than I am prepared for.

For myself, I’m hoping to meet up with some Amnesty people this evening to observe events.   And planning to keep my head down.

More tomorrow.

Howard Eissenstat
St. Lawrence University

 

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

The Ethem Sarısülük Case: Delays, Irregularlities, and Absurdities

Memorial for Sarisuluk in Ankara (open access source from Vikipedi)

Memorial for Sarisuluk in Ankara (open access source from Vikipedi)

In the case of Ethem Sarısülük, each new hearing brings with it new frustration.  This week’s hearing only continues, a process that has been marked by delays, irregularities, and ugly absurdities.

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

Amnesty issues updated information on Okmeydani violence

In a statement issued today (May 27), Amnesty gave updated information regarding the two individuals killed in the recent violence in the Okmeydani district of Istanbul:

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Posted in Amnesty International, Excessive Force, Impunity, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

5/26 important hearing on Sarisuluk case

There will be another hearing of in the case of Ethem Sarisuluk’s killing on Monday, May 26.  Follow live tweets on the case with Amnesty’s Andrew Gardner at @andrewegardner and Ruhat  Sena AKsener @ruhatsena  See here for a backgrounder on this important test of the culture of impunity in Turkey.

Ethem Sarısülük

Ethem Sarısülük

Posted in Turkey, Freedom of Expression, Excessive Force, Andrew Gardner, Gezi Park | Tagged , , , , , ,

Violence and new tragedy in Turkey

It has been an ugly month in Turkey.  First, shocking scenes of excessive force and the virtual lockdown of Turkey’s largest city on May 1.  Then the great national tragedy of the Soma mining disaster and the Turkish government’s ham-fisted efforts to suppress demonstrations in its aftermath.  Stacking tragedy upon tragedy, yesterday, in the Okmeydani district of Istanbul, Uğur Kurt was shot in the head as he attended a funeral at a cemevi (a Alevi place of worship).  Continue reading

Posted in Amnesty International, Erdogan, Excessive Force, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Expression, Gezi Park, Minorities, Religious Freedom, Taksim, Turkey, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , ,