Öztürk Türkdoğan in Turkey acquitted!

April 20, 2022

A Turkish court has acquitted Öztürk Türkdoğan, co-chair of Turkey’s oldest human rights group, the Human Rights Association (İHD), of charges of membership in a terrorist organization. The ruling was issued by the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court on Tuesday 19 April 2022.

Türkdoğan was briefly detained in March 2021 after a police raid on his home in Ankara. He was questioned by the police without a lawyer present and released under judicial supervision. Türkdoğan was prohibited from travelling abroad and had to check in at a police station twice a month. See also: https://humanrightsdefenders.blog/2022/02/23/prosecution-of-human-rights-defender-ozturk-turkdogan-in-turkey-should-be-dropped/

Türkdoğan said he was targeted for urging authorities to carry out an investigation into the killing of 13 civilians on February 15, 2021 during a military operation in northern Iraq’s Gare province.

The Turkish state loves to accuse all citizens, human rights defenders, politicians, activists, union members and students of membership in a terrorist organization. There’s probably no other country in the world that accuses so many of its own citizens,” he added.

Announcing the court verdict in a statement, the İHD said, “We will not give up on defending human rights.

In his defense in the first hearing of the case at the Ankara 19th Heavy Penal Court, Türkdoğan had said the lawsuits were intended to intimidate rights advocates: “I know the lawsuit against me was filed by the ministry of Interior. I am a rights advocate. My legal activities were cited in the indictment“.

The other two lawsuits were filed for “insulting the Turkish nation” and “insulting Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu.”

https://bianet.org/english/law/260706-human-rights-association-co-chair-ozturk-turkdogan-acquitted

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