WRI Statement on the murder of Tahir Elçi

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Tahir Elçi, Chairperson of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, a prominent human rights lawyer and a well-known figure as a “peace envoy”, was killed on 28 November 2015 in Diyarbakir, southeastern Turkey. He dedicated his life to peace and human rights. His last words were “We don’t want weapons, clashes and military operations in the birthplace and home of many civilisations” at a press conference a few minutes before he was shot.

Following the elections on June 7th, 272 civilians (Suruc-32 , Ankara-102) have been killed as of 9th November according to the report issued by the Human Rights Association in Turkey. The total number of people including security forces, paramilitaries and PKK militants has reached 602 according to the same report.

Tahir Elçi was one of the persons who strongly called upon the Turkish state and PKK for a ceasefire in order to stop the killings. His murder is a blatant attack against hopes for peace in Turkey.

War Resisters' International condemns the murder of Tahir Elçi and stands in solidarity with his family, friends, and all the peace activists in the country who have long been resisting the escalating politics of violence in Turkey. We believe that international solidarity in such times plays a key role in the struggle of those demanding peace. We also call on the Turkish authorities to investigate Elçi's murder thoroughly and impartially, and to bring suspected perpetrators to justice.

Please see here for more information about Tahir Elçi.

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