“From the beginning, this was a politically-motivated trial planning to silence those from the pier and deliver a message to the rest of society: struggle for individual rights or talk the facts in the peril.”
These will be the words of Idil Eser, the prior Amnesty Turkey Director, and among the 11 human rights defenders who’ve spent almost 3 years battling trumped-up prices in Turkey.
On Friday, the wait will soon be finished. They’ll find out the verdict in a trial which should haven’t taken place and if someone of these is found guilty, they could face up to 15 years behind bars.
Nearly 3 years ago to the day, dozens of police raided a hotel around the scenic Büyükada island near Istanbul, in which the 10 of those 11 were engaging in a human rights workshop.
Computers and telephones were captured and they were detained and bundled off in a police van. They along with the other guy, former Amnesty International seat Taner Kılıç, that had been arrested a month before, were charged with”terrorism” offenses.
The prosecution alleges the gathering from the resort where they had been detained was a”secret assembly to arrange a Gezi-type uprising” to be able to foment”chaos” from the nation.
Within the course of the past 11 hearings, the allegations of being members of assisting terrorist organizations created against 11 defendants have been repeatedly and disproven, such as by the State’s proof. The prosecution’s effort to present valid human rights actions as unlawful functions have failed.
Eight of others spent nearly four weeks every day behind bars. But tens of thousands of others caught up in Turkey’s profound and far-reaching crackdown on dissent stay in prison.
This trial — called the Büyükada instance – is emblematic of this tide of repression which has spanned Turkey for nearly four decades. After this month, the civil society guess, Osman Kavala will indicate his one-thousandth afternoon in prison on which he called”fantastical charges”
It’s been nearly four decades since the failed coup attempt that caused the crackdown, and it shows no indication of abating.
Likewise, courthouses bombarded with fear, and cases are becoming the new standard.
An astounding 130,000 public service employees have been dismissed and over 1,300 non-governmental businesses and 180 media outlets are closed down. Independent journalism was all but obliterated. Examples of torture in detention have resurfaced and cases of enforced disappearance have returned to the roads of Turkey’s major cities.
In these conditions, the task of a human rights activist gets more crucial than evermore critical but also much more dangerous.
Friday’s verdict things; not only to the men and women at the pier and their own families but to everybody who appreciates human rights.
Human rights defenders across the world have come to be increasingly concentrated. The COVID-19 crisis alone has witnessed a worrying roll-back of rights throughout the world with over 80 countries declaring states of emergency along with lots of embracing extraordinary measures that have influenced rights, such as freedom of expression and freedom of speech.
The activists from the pier in Turkey this week were mindful of the dangers they were carrying. They understood how standing up for individual rights has been criminalized. And they understood that protecting other people’s liberty in Turkey could ultimately cost them their very own.
Regrettably, because of lockdown traveling restrictions, I won’t be with these courageous women and men in Istanbul, but I — and thousands of thousands around the planet — will probably be together in spirit.
“It’s been a long and difficult ordeal,” states Idil Eser. “We’re hoping for the best, but we’re prepared for the worst.”