TUR 001 / 0911 / OBS 114.1
Provisional release /
January 17, 2012
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Turkey.
The Observatory has been informed by the Human Rights Association (İnsan Haklari Derneği – İHD) about the provisional release of seven members and executives of İHD Şanliurfa branch, the Education and Science Workers Trade Union (Eğitim-Sen) and the Health and Social Service Workers Trade Union (SES).
According to the information received, on January 9, 2012, the Diyarbakır Heavy Penal Court No. 7 ordered the provisional release of Mr. Cemal Babaoğlu, İHD Şanlıurfa branchChairperson, Mr. Halit Şahin, Eğitim-Sen Şanlıurfa branch Chairperson, Mr. Yasin Öztürkoğlu, Eğitim-Sen member, Mr. Müslüm Kına, İHD executive, Messrs. Hikmet Evin, Adil Arslan and Adile Şahin, SES members, who had all been placed in detention following the raids against Eğitim-Sens, İHD and SESs Şanlıurfa Branch offices in Şanlıurfa province on September 27, 2011 (See background information). However, the seven remain prosecuted.
The Observatory welcomes the release of the seven members and executives of Eğitim-Sens, İHD and SESs Şanlıurfa branch offices and thanks all the persons, institutions and organisations who intervened in their favour. However, the Observatory remains deeply concerned by the fact that charges for “making propaganda of an illegal organisation” under Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terrorism Law, which seem to merely aim at sanctioning their human rights activities, remain pending against them and calls upon the Turkish authorities to put an end to the continuing harassment against them as well as against all human rights defenders in Turkey.
On September 27, 2011, in Şanlıurfa, law-enforcement officers raided İHD, Egitim-Sen and SES Şanlıurfa Branch offices as well as the houses of their chairpersons and executives and arrested 31 members of these organisations. The police was in possession of a warrant from the Şanlıurfa Chief Public Prosecution Office mentioning allegations of propaganda for an illegal organisation and participating in activities in line with the action and aims of that organisation and, on the date of publication of this appeal, has denied to release information on the reasons of the raids and arrest, on the basis of legal provisions pertaining to the fight against terrorism.
Among those arrested were Messrs. Cemal Babaoğlu, Müslüm Kına, İHD executive Müslüm Çiçek, Halit Şahin, Eğitim-Sen former Branch President Sıtkı Dehşet, Eğitim-Sen executive Veysi Özbingöl, Yasin Öztürkoğlu, Hikmet Evin, Adil Arslan and Adile Şahin.
On September 30, 2011, seven of the 31 initially arrested, namely Messrs. Cemal Babaoğlu, Halit Şahin, Yasin Öztürkoğlu, Hikmet Evin, Adil Arslan and Adile Şahin, were formally charged for making propaganda of an illegal organisation under Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terrorism Law and placed in provisional detention. The other 24 members of above-mentioned NGOs were released without charges.
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Messrs. Cemal Babaoğlu, Müslüm Kına, Müslüm Çiçek, Halit Şahin, Sıtkı Dehşet, Veysi Özbingöl, Yasin Öztürkoğlu, Hikmet Evin, Adil Arslan and Adile Şahin, and, in general, all human rights defenders in Turkey;
ii. Put an end to all acts harassment, including at the judicial level, against Messrs. Cemal Babaoğlu, Müslüm Kına, Müslüm Çiçek, Halit Şahin, Sıtkı Dehşet, Veysi Özbingöl, Yasin Öztürkoğlu, Hikmet Evin, Adil Arslan and Adile Şahin, as well as against all other members of İHD, Egitim-Sen and SES Şanlıurfa Branch offices and, in general, all human rights defenders in Turkey;
iii. Comply with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, especially its Article 1, which states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, as well as Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”;
iv. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Turkey.
· Interior Minister, Mr. İdris Naim Şahin, Ministry of Interior, Içisleri Bakanligi, 06644 Ankara, Turkey; Fax: + 90312 418 17 95 / +90 312 418 7696
· Justice Minister, Mr. Sadullah Ergin, Ministry of Justice/ Adalet Bakanligi, 06659 Ankara, Turkey; Fax: + 90 312 414 62 26
· Foreign Minister, Mr. Ahmed Davudoglu, Office of the Prime Minister, Basbakanlik, 06573 Ankara, Turkey; Fax:+90 312 287 88 11
· The Governor of Şanlıurfa Province, Celalettin Güvenç phone: +90 414 313 19; E-mail: email@example.com
· Ambassador, Mr. Oğuz Demiralp, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations in Geneva, Ch. du Petit-Saconnex 28b – CP 271, CH-1211, Geneva 19, Switzerland, E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +41 22 734 08 59
· Ambassador, Mr. Selim Kuneralp, Diplomatic Mission of Turkey to the European Union in Brussels, Avenue des Arts 36-38, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium, Fax: + 32 2 511 04 50.
Please also write to the embassies of Turkey in your respective country.
Paris-Geneva, January 17, 2012
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.
To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29