Solidarity Network for Human Rights Defenders Launched in Turkey
Civil Rights Defenders joins a host of civil society organisations in Turkey to announce the creation of the country’s first network of human rights defenders.
On Tuesday morning, the Solidarity Network for Human Rights Defenders (İnsan Hakları Savunucuları Dayanışma Ağı) was launched by Amnesty International, the Association for Monitoring Equal Rights, Citizens’ Assembly Turkey, Civil Rights Defenders, Human Rights Association, Human Rights Agenda Association, the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, Kaos GL, Life Memory Freedom Association, Media and Law Studies Association, The Rights Initiative and the Truth Justice Memory Center.
The key purpose of the network will be for human rights defenders to share information, cooperate, express solidarity and communicate in a coordinated, united manner.
In a statement to the press in Istanbul today, the network stated “Arbitrariness, intimidation and pressure campaigns have become commonplace. Many human rights defenders from Turkey, including prominent names from the movement, face legal harassments, investigations, imprisonment on baseless claims, threats and smear campaigns, while the crackdown remains in full force.”
The network reminded the Turkish government, public and the international community, that Turkey is a member of both the UN and OSCE, and is therefore bound to respective conventions and guidelines, not least the The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Yet, “it keeps the human rights space and human rights defenders under intense pressure, violating a series of rights guaranteed under international law and the Constitution.”
“We strongly condemn the repression against human rights defenders and urge to end all forms of harassment. We declare that we will follow through our demand and have therefore founded the network with this goal in mind.,” the statement concluded.