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EU: “Raise issue of jailed activists with Turkish Minister” Mogherini urged

We expect her to raise their cases with Ministers Çavuşoğlu and Çelik in the context of growing concerns about the deterioration of the respect for the rule of law and human rights in Turkey

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

PRESS RELEASE

25 July 2017

EU: “Raise issue of jailed activists with Turkish Minister” Mogherini urged

·         Salil Shetty meets Mogherini ahead of her meeting with Turkey Ministers

·         Major public stunt demands end to human rights crackdown

·         “For me this is personal” - partner of jailed activist speaks out

·         Photos and B-Roll attached

Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, urged the European Commission’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, to urgently raise the issue of jailed human rights defenders at her meeting with the Turkish Foreign Affairs and EU Ministers later today. Amnesty International’s Turkey Director and Chair, Idil Eser and Taner Kılıç are currently in detention facing terrorism related charges.

Mr Shetty met with Ms Mogherini in Brussels this morning and presented her with a petition calling on her to use to her influence to help secure the immediate release of the 10 human rights defenders jailed earlier this month. He then joined scores of activists at a protest outside the European Commission building, the centre piece of which was 10 giant figures representing those jailed. 

“This morning I met with Federica Mogherini and presented her with a petition of nearly 900,000 signatures collected in a matter of days calling on her to use her influence to help ensure the immediate and unconditional release of our Amnesty International colleagues and the other human rights defenders jailed in Turkey. We expect her to raise their cases with Ministers Çavuşoğlu and Çelik in the context of growing concerns about the deterioration of the respect for the rule of law and human rights in Turkey,” said Salil Shetty.

“Whilst world leaders are starting to speak out, this is not just an issue for politicians. Defending human rights is not a crime, but it is fast becoming one in Turkey and it is incumbent on everyone who believes in fundamental freedoms to make clear that the crossing of this red line cannot be tolerated. We only have a small window of opportunity to stop this now, before there’s no one left to stand up for what’s right.”

Protesters gathered on the Schuman roundabout opposite the European Commission building, including the partners of jailed activists Ali Gharavi and Peter Steudtner.

“For me this is personal. My husband Ali and my dear friends Peter and Ozlem are in jail,” said Laressa Dickey, Ali Gharavi’s wife.

“He is a beautiful soul and we thank you for your support. We will not stop until they are released. Nobody is free until everybody is free.”

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Alison Abrahams on aabrahams@amnesty.eu +32 2 548 27 73 or +32 483 680 812 or Stefan Simanowitz at Amnesty International on press@amnesty.org or stefan.simanowitz@amnesty.org or 0044 (0) 20 7413 5566.

For photos visit https://adam.amnesty.org/asset-bank/images/assetbox/1b6ac37b-49db-45c6-ab9b-0bf5fff8e77c/assetbox.html

For B-Roll visit https://we.tl/uXSlrSB9in (any video material from Amnesty International must be credited on screen for at least 5 seconds).

More footage including interviews with Mr Shetty and Ms Dickey available upon request.

A petition of 895,034 signatures collected by Amnesty International and Avaaz was handed to Ms Mogherini this morning. The number of signatures has now risen to almost 1 million.

After the meeting Ms Mogherini tweeted a video of her with Mr Shetty and a message: “You can always count on the #EU to support the work of human rights defenders across the world.” https://twitter.com/FedericaMog/status/889769497737011200