|New report on the persecution of human rights defenders in Turkey released|
New report on the persecution of human rights defenders in Turkey released today as Turkish human rights body is re-closed
Press Release: 16th May 2000
A new report, providing a strong critique of Turkey's treatment of its human rights defenders, and in particular its persecution of the internationally renowned Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD), was published today. The report details the basis upon which Nazmi Gur, Secretary General of the IHD, was brought to trial for publishing an article on World Peace Day, entitled "It is not hard to reach peace". The findings in the report were accentuated by emerging news that the IHD branch in Diyarbakir, south east Turkey had been re-closed, after a letter-writing campaign against 'isolation-cell' type prisons.
The re-closure, a mere twenty three days after it was re-opened and only days after it celebrated its official opening following three years closure, is a severe setback for human rights in Turkey, particularly in light of Turkey's recent acceptance as a candidate to the European Union. The Kurdish Human Rights Project, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, the Danish Centre for Human Rights, the Norwegian Bar Association, and the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, launching their joint report today, call in the report on Turkey to allow the free and unhindered operation of all legitimate human rights organisations in Turkey and to immediately stay proceedings against the IHD.