URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY
TUR 008 / 0620 / OBS 074
Arbitrary detention /
June 30, 2020
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your intervention in the following situation in Turkey.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention of Ms. Sevil Rojbin, a women’s rights defender, member of the women’s rights initiative Free Women’s Movement (TJA – Tevgera Jinen Azad) and member of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
According to the information received, on June 26, 2020, Ms. Sevil Rojbin was taken into police custody in Diyarbakır and her house was raided by the police, within the scope of an investigation launched by the Prosecutors’ Office in Mardin into her activities with TJA on women’s rights and her membership to HDP’s commission on local governance.
Ms. Sevil Rojbin was reportedly subjected to inhuman treatment, which may amount to torture, during the raid of her house and during her arrest in Diyarbakır. It was reported that she was subjected to sexual harassment in addition to other forms of violence. The forensic examination report found bite marks by police dogs on her legs, shoe marks on her belly and other marks of battery. Her lawyer, who has taken pictures of her showing the marks to form an official complaint, was later summoned to the Prosecutors’ Office. As of issuing this Urgent Appeal, no measures had been taken against the police officers accused of these abuses.
On June 27, 2020, she was transferred to the Anti-Terror Branch in Mardin, where the investigation is being conducted.
On June 30, 2020, the court extended Ms. Sevil Rojbin’s arrest for another four days, at the request of the Prosecutor on the basis that “the review was ongoing”. As of issuing this Urgent Appeal, Ms. Rojbin remains under arrest in Mardin. Ms. Sevil Rojbin has advanced stage cancer and her health may be compromised by her detention.
The Observatory recalls that inhuman treatment is prohibited, and that allegations of inhuman treatment must be thoroughly investigated and may result in individual convictions.
The Observatory condemns the arbitrary detention of Ms. Sevil Rojbin and the inhuman treatments she allegedly suffered, as it seems to be merely aimed at punishing her for exercising her legitimate human rights activities. The Observatory urges the Turkish authorities to put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against her and against all human rights defenders in Turkey.
Please write to the authorities of Turkey asking them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. Sevil Rojbin and all other human rights defenders in Turkey;
ii. Immediately and unconditionally release Ms. Sevil Rojbin and all other human rights defenders arbitrarily detained in Turkey as their detention is arbitrary since it only seems to aim at punishing them for their human rights activities;
iii. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Ms. Sevil Rojbin and all human rights defenders in Turkey;
iv. Carry out a transparent, impartial, immediate and thorough investigation into the alleged inhuman treatment suffered by Ms. Sevil Rojbin in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law;
v. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular its Articles 1, 6(a), 9, 11 and 12.2;
vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Turkey.
Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Turkey in your respective country.
Paris-Geneva, June 30, 2020
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
• Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
• Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29