Turkey arrests human rights defenders and journalists

Members of the OSCE-wide NGO coalition Civic Solidarity Platform, express their grave concern about the arrests of Şebnem Korur Fincancı, the President of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT), Erol Önderoğlu (journalist associated with Reporters Without Borders) and Ahmet Nesin in connection with their participation in the campaign to counter suppression of the Özgür Gündem journal.

Arrest for participating in such a campaign are not acceptable in terms of international human rights and freedoms. The arrest warrant against Şebnem Korur Fincancı who committed herself to fight against human rights violations, in particular against torture and ill-treatment at domestic and international level, should also be considered a threat to the wider struggle against human rights violations.

In light of the above, we call on the authorities in Turkey to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Ms. MD. Şebnem Korur Fincancı, Mr. Erol Önderoğlu and Mr. Ahmet Nesin,

ii. Release them immediately and unconditionally, and drop all charges against them since their detention is arbitrary as it only aims at preventing freedom of expression and their human rights activities,

iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment, intimidation including at the judicial level, against all human rights defenders and journalists,

iv. Put an end to the crackdown on human rights defenders in line with Turkey’s international commitments,  

v. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Turkey.

Signatory organisations:

Analytical Center for Interethnic Cooperation and Consultations (Georgia)
Belarus Helsinki Committee
Belarusian Association of Journalists
Bulgarian Helsinki Committee
Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine)
Centre for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights (Russia)

Freedom Files (Russia)
Helsinki Citizens' Assembly – Vanadzor (Armenia)
Helsinki Committee of Armenia 
Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights (Poland)

Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan
Human Rights House Foundation (international)
Human Rights Monitoring Institute (Lithuania)
Human Rights Movement Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan
Index on Censorship (UK)
International Partnership for Human Rights (Belgium)
International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (international)
Kazakhstan International Bureau for Human Rights and Rule of Law

Kharkiv Regional Foundation Public Alternative (Ukraine)
Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims
Moscow Helsinki Group (Russia)
Netherlands Helsinki Committee 
Norwegian Helsinki Committee
Notabene (Tajikistan)
Office of Civil Freedoms (Tajikistan)
Promo-LEX Association (Moldova)
Protection of Rights without Borders (Armenia)
Public Verdict (Russia)
Regional Center for Strategic Studies (Georgia/ Azerbaijan)
Swiss Helsinki Committee

Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

UNITED for Intercultural Action (international)