M.Raci Bilici, İHD’s Vice-President and Diyarbakır Branch President, must be Released!

Today (15 March 2017), M.Raci Bilici, İHD’s Vice President and Diyarbakır Branch President, was detained in the early hours of the morning right after his house was searched by the police. He is still held in detention in the Anti-Terror Branch of Diyarbakır Provincial Directorate of Security. Together with Raci Bilici, totally 11 persons being former and current representatives of many NGOs in Diyarbakır was detained.

In accordance with the information obtained from lawyers, we couldn’t learn for what he was accused due to the confidentiality order on the investigation. Detention of our friend is closely pursued by our Headquarters.

The right to personal security has been nearly annihilated with the unconstitutional and illegal powers given by the State of Emergency and Decree-laws of the State of Emergency. Almost every day, people doing democratic politics and executives of NGOs are being detained, held in detention for a length of time, set free with judicial control decisions after being interrogated or arrested on the grounds of social media shares.

The statement made today by the Diyarbakır Office of Chief Public Prosecutor is considerably dire. It is unacceptable for the NGOs performing activities for years in line with the Law and their Diyarbakır branches together with their executives to be demonstrated as though they were allegedly connected with illegal organizations.

As İHD’s Diyarbakır Branch President and Vice President for years, Raci Bilici has been duly conducting rights defending activities. We would like to make known publicly that Raci Bilici has no activity with regard to illegality.

Developing such an illegal suppression against human rights defenders is absolutely unacceptable after important opinions and reports regarding the rights violations occurred in Turkey are published in the international arena especially by the UN and Council of Europe.

We call international society to be sensitive within the framework of protection of human rights defenders and we demand that Raci Bilici and other NGOs’ detained representatives be released immediately.