The European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights (ELDH) has published this statement condemning the recent mass arrests in Turkey of human rights advocates, trade unionists, lawyers, and journalists, and demanding the release of all political prisoners, including Abdullah Ocalan. If you want to keep it on file, we have made it available for download (pdf).
Düsseldorf – London, 30 June 2012
ELDH is gravely concerned about the ongoing wave of arrests in Turkey.
Some 8.000 politicians, trade-unionists, journalists, artists, students, human rights activists as well as their lawyers have been the victims of mass arrests in Turkey since 2009. Most of them have been arrested as part of the KCK operation mounted by the Turkish Government. The KCK or Union of Communities in Kurdistan is a Kurdish organization, founded by Abdullah Öcalan, which is suspected by the Turkish Government of collaboration with the PKK. The arrests took place on the basis of the Turkish Anti-Terror Law of 1991.
In a response to the concerned request of the European Commission, the Turkish government acknowledged in October 2011 only the continued detention of 605 persons. Many others are facing long prison sentences. Although the European Union has expressed its concern, the wave of arrests is still going on. Continue reading