Turkey: International pressure mounts on Turkey as world leaders demand release of jailed activists

20 July 2017
Turkey: International pressure mounts on Turkey as world leaders demand release of jailed activists 
Just days after six human rights defenders were remanded in pre-trial custody in Turkey, the European Commission has joined governments and world leaders, including Angela Merkel, to demand their immediate and unconditional release. 
Speaking today a European Commission spokesperson called for the “immediate release of these people”. This call follows similar demands by the governments of Germany, the US, France, Belgium, Ireland and Austria.
“The jailing of these six human rights activists – including the director of Amnesty International Turkey – has spurred world leaders to break their silence on the ongoing human rights crisis in Turkey. They are now coming together with remarkable speed and speaking with uncommon unity. Momentum is growing and now is the moment for other world leaders to speak out,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe Director for Amnesty International. 
“The global demand on Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally release these six is growing ever louder as is the wider call that Turkey end the brutal crackdown that has ravaged the country for the last year. Whilst those responsible for the bloody coup must be brought to justice, this cannot be used as a cover to eliminate all forms of peaceful dissent.”
European Commission – “We call for the immediate release of these people.” (20/7/17)
United States – “These politically-motivated arrests were carried out to frighten and suppress those willing to stand up for human rights in Turkey…I call on Turkish authorities to release Idil Eser and her fellow activists without delay or condition.” (18/7/17).
Angela Merkel – “This is another case where, in our view, innocent people are caught up in the wheels of the justice system and end up in detention…We declare our solidarity with [Peter Steudtner] and all the others arrested…the German government will do all it can, on all levels, to secure his release.” (18/7/17)
Germany – “Claims of terrorist links are absurd. It is appalling to accuse Amnesty and other rights organizations of terrorism.” (18/7/17)
France – “France remains concerned by the recent arrests that targeted Turkish officials of Amnesty International as well as other journalists and human rights defenders. We call for their quick release.” (18/7/17)
Belgium – “The Minister calls on the Turkish authorities to drop all charges against the 11 people in question, immediately and without conditions.” (17/7/17)
Austria – “This is a transparent attempt to intimidate and silence human rights defenders. We will press for their immediate release at all levels.” (20/7/17)
Ireland – “The targeting of human rights activists is not an activity we expect to see in a country which respects basic human rights and the rule of law, and I call on the Turkish authorities to release those arrested.” (20/7/17)
For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Amnesty International press office on [email protected] +32 2 548 27 73 or +32 483 680 812
International responses:
European Commission: https://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm


US: https://democrats-foreignaffairs.house.gov/news/press-releases/engel-statement-arrest-detention-amnesty-international-director-turkey
France: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/dossiers-pays/turquie/evenements/article/turquie-q-r-extrait-du-point-de-presse-du-18-juillet-2017
Angela Merkel: https://m.bundesregierung.de/Content/DE/Rede/2017/07/2017-07-19-rede-merkel-kienbaum.html
Germany: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/EN/Infoservice/Presse/Meldungen/2017/170719-Botschafter_TUR.html