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Tell Turkey: free the jailed Amnesty staff, other human rights defenders

Every day, these women and men risk their own safety to defend others. They speak out for people’s freedom, they challenge injustices and they fight for everyone in Turkey to be treated fairly.

Now they need your help.

A court in Turkey has just sent eight human rights defenders to prison, including Amnesty’s Turkey Director İdil Eser, less than a month after jailing its Chair, Taner Kılıç. Turkey has locked these activists up, just when they are needed most: when the independent media has been silenced, speaking out comes at a high cost and people are living in fear. Every day that they are detained, the people they speak up for are left vulnerable to the government’s ongoing crackdown on freedoms.

None of them have done anything wrong. Taner has been wrongly accused of “membership of the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization”, while İdil and the others have been imprisoned on the unfounded suspicion of “committing a crime in the name of a terrorist organization”: both ridiculous and baseless accusations. Another four activists had been released on bail, but are now facing detention again.

The Turkish authorities must immediately release all detainees, and stop the witch-hunt against all 11 human rights defenders.

We won’t stop until they’re all free. Join us and take action now.

The eight human rights defenders remanded in custody and joining Amnesty’s Taner Kılıç behind bars are İdil Eser (Amnesty International), Günal Kurşun and Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association), Özlem Dalkıran (Citizens’ Assembly), Ali Gharavi (IT strategy consultant), Peter Steudtner (non-violence and wellbeing trainer), Nalan Erkem (Citizens Assembly) and İlknur Üstün (Women's Coalition). The two human rights defenders who had been released on bail, but are still under investigation are Nejat Taştan (Equal Rights Watch Association) and Şeyhmus Özbekli (Rights Initiative).