This is an urgent call from the Human Rights Association (HRA - Turkey) and the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) with whom WRI has been working for many years. In the morning of the 15th March, M.Raci Bilici Chairperson of Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır Branch and Vice-Chairperson of İHD Headquarters has been arrested along with 11 old and new representatives of the NGOs in Diyarbakır. As reported by the HRFT alleged charges are not learned yet due to the confidentiality order on the investigation file. You can respond their call via sending emails and letters of protest to the Turkish officials. See an example email/letter in the attachment below. See the call out from HRA and HRFT below:
M.Raci Bilici Must Immediately be Released!
Chairperson of Human Rights Association (İHD) Diyarbakır Branch and Vice-Chairperson of İHD Headquarters M.Raci Bilici has been arrested this morning (March 15,2017) and still in custody at Diyarbakır Anti-Terror Branch. By this operation, along with Raci Bilici, 11 old and new representatives of the NGOs in Diyarbakır have been arrested. According to the information obtained by the lawyers, alleged charges are still not learned since morning due to the confidentiality order on the investigation file.
Human Rights Association is an internationally recognised human rights organisation and has played a vital role in the promotion of human rights and democracy in Turkey, since 1986.
As well-known by everyone, the important role human rights defenders has been recognised in various international documents such as the OSCE Document of the Moscow Meeting (1991), the Vienna Declaration (1993) or the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (1998). Also, in April 2004 UN prepared fact sheet no.29 titled as ‘Human Rights Defenders: Protecting the Right to defend Human Rights’ to make UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders more clear. Moreover, due to the increased pressure on human rights defenders not only in Turkey but all around the World despite of all these assessments, UN General Assembly adopted a special resolution (70/160) on 17 December 2015 allocated again on UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders and raised their concerns on the matter.
All these documents contain provisions protecting human rights defenders who face many risks because of their work for the protection, development and promotion of human rights. Promoting respect for democracy and human rights is only possible when human rights defenders can carry out their work in a safe environment without obstructions.
In this regard, we emphasize that M. Raci Bilici carries out all his activities duly in scope of human rights values for many years. The operation against and detention of Raci Bilici is unacceptable under no circumstances.
As Human Rights Association and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, we are calling upon the international community to take urgent action for the release of Raci Bilici and the other NGO representatives.
HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION
HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION OF TURKEY
i. Release M.Raci Bilici and other NGO representatives immediately and unconditionally, as their detention is arbitrary since it only aims at sanctioning the legitimate human rights activities;
ii. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at judicial level, against them, as well as all human rights defenders in Turkey;
iii. Comply with all the provisions of abovementioned international documents.
List of Authorities in Turkey
President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Cumhurbaşkanlığı Külliyesi 06560 Beştepe-Ankara, Phone: (+90 312) 525 55 55, Fax: (+90 312) 525 58 31, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prime Minister of Turkey, Binali Yıldırım, Vekaletler Caddesi Başbakanlık, Kızılay/Ankara Phone: +90 (312) 422 10 00; Fax +90 (312) 403 62 82 Email: email@example.com
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Dr. Sadık Ahmet Cad, No: 8 Balgat / Ankara - Turkey 06100; Phone : +90 (312) 292 10 00
Minister of Justice, Mr. Bekir Bozdağ, 06659 Kizilay, Ankara; Phone: +90 (312) 417 77 70; Fax: +90 (0312) 419 33 70; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Minister of Interior, Mr. Süleyman Soylu, Bakanlıklar Ankara; Phone: +90 (312) 422 40 00; Fax: 90 312 418 1795; Email: email@example.com
Minister of Health, Mr. Recep Akdağ, Mithatpaşa Cad. Sıhhıye / Ankara 06434-Turkey; Phone: +90 (312) 585 10 00; firstname.lastname@example.org