Öztürk Türkdoğan, Co-chair of Human Rights Association Turkey arrested

Amnesty calls the arrest of human rights leader as a mockery of Erdogan’s “Human Rights Action Plan”, demands his release

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Öztürk Türkdoğan, Co-chair of Human Rights Association Turkey was arrested from his home on March 19.  Amnesty International has demanded that he be released unconditionally and also remind the country’s leadership of their “obligations to protect human rights defenders under international law.”

Öztürk Türkdoğan, is the President of Turkey’s most prominent human rights organisation, and was arrested after police raided his home, police have reportedly detained ten other individuals as well. 

Amnesty International’s Senior Research Adviser for Europe, Esther Major has called Öztürk Türkdoğan’s arest outrageous and says it comes even before the ink has dried on the 128-page Human Rights Action Plan announced by Turkey’s President Erdoğan two weeks ago. This arrest, she said, has exposed that “this document is not worth the paper it is written on.” Amnesty has demanded that Türkdoğan “must be immediately and unconditionally released,” adding that this arrest “makes a mockery of Turkey’s hollow attempts to improve its image on human rights.

“Ironically Öztürk Türkdoğan, the head of the country’s most prominent human rights organisation, was among those consulted by the Ministry of Justice before the drafting of the Action Plan,” said Esther Major. Amnesty added that Turkey must end the “criminalisation of human rights defenders and of the Human Rights Association”. It stated that the country “must abide by its international obligations to protect human rights defenders and facilitate their work.”

Türkdoğan was arrested by “Turkey’s anti-terror police”. According to information shared on social media even lawyers have been barred from seeing him. International rights organisations have started calling world attention to this arrest.


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