Turkey: “We will not rest until they are all free”, Amnesty chief vows

AMNESTY TURKEY'S TANER KILIÇ: A YEAR OF IMPRISONMENT
Staff members at Amnesty’s International Secretariat mark the birthday of Taner Kiliç © Amnesty International

Leading human rights champions – including Amnesty International’s newly appointed Secretary General, Kumi Naidoo, and Amnesty Turkey Honorary Chair, Taner Kılıç, appearing publicly for the first time since his release from prison – today pledged to intensify the struggle to ensure the release of all those unjustly jailed in Turkey.

“All over Turkey, ordinary people with extraordinary passion are speaking out for justice and equality.”

Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International

The gathering, attended by civil society leaders and parliamentarians, highlighted the situation facing hundreds of human rights defenders, journalists, academics, lawyers, artists and others – jailed in the aftermath of the 2016 failed coup attempt.

“I am here today to re-affirm our solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Turkey who are fighting for a brighter future for all”

Kumi Naidoo

“All over Turkey, ordinary people with extraordinary passion are speaking out for justice and equality despite the threat of being unjustly punished for the stand they take. They are journalists and academics, artists and lawyers. They are also mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers. They are driven by their deep commitment for human rights, justice, freedom and equality,” said Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s newly appointed Secretary General.

“The writer, Aziz Nesin, once said we are responsible not only for what we say but what we fail to say by staying silent. Amnesty cannot and will not stay silent in the face of Turkey’s human rights crisis”

Kumi Naidoo

“Instead of punishing them, Turkey should be proud of this vibrant and vital human rights community.

“The writer, Aziz Nesin, once said we are responsible not only for what we say but what we fail to say by staying silent. Amnesty International cannot and will not stay silent in the face of Turkey’s human rights crisis, and I am here today to re-affirm our solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Turkey who are fighting for a brighter future for all.”

Background

The names of 78 prominent journalists, academics, lawyers and artists were read out by Kumi Naidoo. These 78 individuals have spent a combined total of more than 50 years in prison. Most of them have been kept in pre-trial detention and have not been convicted.

Amnesty International. Turkey: “We will not rest until they are all free”, Amnesty chief vows © Amnesty International 2018.

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