Being an executive of IHD Dersim (Tunceli) Branch, Özgür Ateş is an HRD known both for helping the families of civilian public officials who were killed by the organization by condemning their actions and demanding for peace by criticizing the government policies (see in Turkish https://www.evrensel.net/haber/291367/ihd-dersim-subesi-sivil-olumlerine-dikkat-cekti https://www.pirha.net/dersimde-kacirilan-ogretmen-icin-basin-aciklamasi-68326.html/ http://www.rudaw.net/turkish/kurdistan/1706201712).

On 5 July 2018 Özgür Ateş was taken into custody and then jailed on 13 July 2018. In the trials being continued in the Tunceli 2nd Assize Court, the only evidence is that his name was written and a code-name was given to him in a notebook claimed to be borne by  organization militants who lost their lives during the SİHA (Silahlı İnsansız Hava Aracı – Armed UAV) operation performed by security forces. However, there is no expression indicating that the notebook was found in the incident scene investigation report in addition to the fact that there are no camera and photograph records, which are needed to be available, in the Court. Therefore, it is highly-likely for Özgür Ateş who has not been released yet because of a notebook confiscated illegally, to be punished.

IHD Ağrı Branch Executive Atty. Olcay Öztürk is known for her human rights activities including detecting, reporting and making violations public in Ağrı (see in Turkish http://www.agrihurses.net/haber/agri-ihd-agri-kapali-cezaevinden-sikayetci-13079.html http://www.urfadabugun.com/haber/94004/ihd-agrida-sube-acti.html http://www.milliyet.com.tr/baskan-sakik-artik-gemileri-yaktik-baris-agri-yerelhaber-362040/). Atty. Olcay Öztürk was taken into custody on 27 February 2018 and jailed on 2 March 2018. The evidences in the trials continued in the Ağrı Assize Court are various public statements, participating in the march for World Peace Day and to participate in one of the funerals belonging to an organization militant who was killed and being an acquaintance of Ms. Öztürk. However, these evidences are violations of of a person’s freedom of expression, religion and conscience and a serious intervention regarding the right to peace and grieve.

Under the State of Emergency conditions, each HRD may face arbitrary detention, illegal arrests, prolonged detention, violation of the right to a fair trial, and beyond these, punishment.

As IHD, we would like to call on the authorities to abide by the protection of the rights and freedoms indicated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, and demand our friends Özgür Ateş and Atty. Olcay Öztürk unconditionally be released.

Oppressions against HRDs must be ended and HRDs must be released!

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