29 June 2019
İHD’S KARS BRANCH CHAIRPERSON GÜLDANE KILIÇ
SHOULD IMMEDIATELY BE RELEASED
İHD’s Kars Branch Chairperson, human rights defender Güldane Kılıç was taken under custody following a police raid to her home in the morning on 23 June 2019. A total of 12 persons were taken under custody, including 7 provincial executives of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), within the scope of the same police operation. The authorities have stated that the investigation was confidential. We, however, know that the authorities, specifically beginning with the onset of state of emergency, have continuously been conducting custody and arrest operations against social dissidence, trying to scare and intimidate the public through such operations. This state of affairs has been rendered unceasing following the lifting of the state of emergency as well. The authorities will most probably ask Güldane Kılıç about the press conferences she attended and her social media posts, if any, and question her various legal party activities before serving as İHD’s branch chairperson. Such operations virtually destroy the rights to peaceful assembly and demonstration as well as the right to freedom of expression, while everyone risk facing terrorism charges.
Law No. 7145, which entered into force after the end of state of emergency, has enabled authorities to extend the period of custody to a total of 12 days through extensions in the form of 4+4+4 days. Such extension infringes upon the right to liberty of the person in itself. İHD’s Kars Branch Chairperson Ms. Kılıç and others have been in custody for a week now. Although the law prescribes that the period of custody can be extended if need be, this has become a common practice while the exception has been rendered the rule.
İHD, therefore, requests that Kars Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office release our friend and others immediately and act in accordance with the provisions set forth in the United Nation’s Declaration on Human Rights Defenders.
HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATON