On 6 July 2017, eight human rights defenders and two consultants had their detentions extended to seven days following their arrests a day earlier on Bayukada island, off the coast of Istanbul. Seven days is the maximum period of time permitted for detainees to be held without charge under Turkey’s State of Emergency. On 5 July, Nalan Erkem, Seyhmuz Ozbekli, Ozlem Dalkiran, Idil Eser, Veli Acu, Gunal Kursun, Ilknur Ustun and Nejat Tastan and were all arrested as they attended a workshop. Ali Gharawi and Peter Steudtner, two consultants in attendance at the workshop, were also detained.
Nalan Erkem, Seyhmuz Ozbekli and Ozlem Dalkiran all work for the Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly, an organisation promoting peace, democracy and civil society throughout Europe. Idel Eser is the director of Amnesty International Turkey. Veli Acu and Günal Kursun work for the Human Rights Agenda Association, monitoring human rights violations throughout the country. Ilknur Ustun is a member of the Women’s Coalition, which focuses on gender equality and enhanced female participation in public life. Nejat Tastan is coordinator at the Association for Monitoring Equal Rights, an NGO promoting equality and carrying out independent election observation. Ali Gharawi and Peter Steudtner are consultants who were collaborating with the Dutch Development Agency, HIVOS, to support human rights defenders and development organisations.
European Center for Human Rights and our partners from different country in world we are equally concerned about the steadily shrinking space for civil society and human rights in Turkey, which has picked up pace in recent years and led to the current repressive environment with little room for countervailing powers. ECHR support HIVOS and Ammnesty Internationa to call on all the governments of G20 countries to address this issue at the G20 meeting currently taking place in Hamburg.
Worldwide, we see ever more governments trying to suppress human rights activists and civil society. This is why ECHR is create European School for Human Rights deffenders to works with civil society and human rights activists to ensure they can do their work and engage in online activities safely.
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