Amnesty International’s Europe Director John Dalhuisen has reacted to the statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and said that “Çavuşoğlu’s assertion that we will be ‘able to conduct activities freely’ is a bold claim in light of the fact that both the Director and the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey are languishing”
Responding to statements made by Çavuşoğlu at a press conference following his meeting with the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini in Brussels, Dalhuisen released a statement. “Whilst we welcome the acknowledgement by the Foreign Minister that Amnesty International are regarded as ‘a credible global organisation’, his assertion that we will be ‘able to conduct activities freely’ is a bold claim in light of the fact that both the Director and the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey are languishing behind bars alongside seven other human rights activists,” said Dalhuisen.
Reminding that “The absurd case against İdil Eser is not based on any nefarious activities but instead rests entirely upon the legitimate work of Amnesty International,” Dalhuisen added that “If this work is criminalised, it is hard to see how the organisation – or indeed the wider human rights movement in Turkey – can continue to function.”
“Equally, the unfounded allegation that has landed Taner Kılıç in jail – that he downloaded and used Bylock on his phone – is false and we will show it. The vital work done by Amnesty International and the people who undertake that work cannot be separated. They are indivisible and we will fight to secure their release,” said Dalhuisen.
Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu had said that the operations target individuals, not the organizations, hence Turkey “doesn’t have any problems with neither Amnesty nor other NGOs.”
Turkish police detained Taner Kılıç together with 22 lawyers in İzmir on June 9. İdil Eser was also detained along with nine other rights advocates at a meeting about protection and security of rights advocates. She was arrested on July 18 on charges of “committing a crime as non-member on behalf of the organization” and “being a member of an armed organization.”
July 26, 2017