Set Rights Defenders Free!

Subsequent to the detention of IHD Headquarters Executive Nuray Çevirmen and Kars Branch President Ahmet Adıgüzel from their houses at night time on 22 January 2018, our Executive Council Member Hayrettin Pişkin was taken into custody in Çanakkale on 23 January 2018 and Malatya Branch Executive Mehmet Tuncel and Abuzer Yavaş together with our member Ali Dağdelen were also taken into custody on 24 January 2018 in Malatya.

Additionally, the operations for detentions are still continued in accordance with the information obtained by our Headquarters. It is understood that the reason for detentions is social media shares.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights emphasise that freedom of expression is a human right. The Articles 25, 26 and 28 of the Constitution of Turkey recognise freedom of thought, the right to express thought and freedom of the press.

The UN Charter and UN System is established on “peace”. Therefore, defending peace and desiring peace is a right; making war propaganda is a crime and prohibited. Contrary to Turkey’s suggestion that they launched the military operation to Afrin on the basis of the UN Charter, HRDs have got the rights to demand for peace and accordingly share their thoughts on social media in line with the international conventions indicated above and the Constitution. It is not a crime!

We invite the judicial authorities to abide by the Constitution and international conventions and they should not act in accordance with the influence of war propaganda carried out by the pro-government and mainstream media.

As HRDs, we demand for the release of incarcerated rights defenders, journalists, politicians and those exercising their right to freedom of expression.