NGOs and media report that Turkey rounds up Human Rights Defenders

January 21, 2013

The Voice of America echoes reports by HRW and Freedom House amongst others that the security forces in Turkey have detained more than a dozen lawyers as part of a nationwide sweep against illegal leftist groups……​​With many of the detained lawyers being well-known human rights defenders, several human rights groups around the world have voiced alarm. Emma Sinclair Webb, who is with U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, said, “Its very concerning to find lawyers the targets of police operations at four oclock in the morning, having their doors broken down. These lawyers are all known for their activities in defense of human rights, for pursuing police violence cases. ….The Turkish government has accused the lawyers of transferring instructions from the groups imprisoned leaders to militants.

Seven of the detained lawyers belong to the Progressive Lawyers Association, which last year launched a telephone hot line for people to report police abuse. In a statement, the lawyers group condemned the detentions, calling them an attack against people and institutions that oppose the government and struggle for democracy and freedom. The arrests also included five members of a popular left-wing folk music group. ….The government claims none of them are in jail for their pursuits of journalist activities. In a report this week, the watchdog group Freedom House categorized Turkey as only a partially free country in its “Freedom in the World Report,” due to what it described as a serious decline in civil liberties and political rights.

via Turkey Rounds Up Human Rights Lawyers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: