Tweet for Freedom in Turkey: Say No to the Criminalization of Dissent!

Journalists and activists participate in a rally for press freedom and against the detention of journalists under anti-terrorism laws in the capital of Ankara (Photo Credit: Ümit Bektas/Reuters).

Journalists and activists participate in a rally for press freedom and against the detention of journalists under anti-terrorism laws in the capital of Ankara (Photo Credit: Ümit Bektas/Reuters).

In a major report this week, Amnesty International has outlined the wide range of legal tools that Turkish authorities have used to target political dissent and limit freedom of expressionScholars, students, journalists, human rights activists, and thousands of others have been subject to prosecution and lengthy punishment under these statutes. But you can join us in working for real reform in Turkey!

Amnesty has noted that:

The most negative development in recent years has been the increasingly arbitrary use of anti-terrorism laws to prosecute legitimate activities including political speeches, critical writing, attendance of demonstrations and association with recognized political groups and organizations – in violation of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly.

SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Turkey's Anti-Terrorism Law Tramples on Human Rights

© MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images

On December 3rd, demonstrations were held in Istanbul and 40 provinces of Turkey, protesting lengthy pre-trial detentions, mass custodies and arrests, and called for the abolishment of Turkey’s draconian anti-terrorist law. In Istanbul alone, some 2000 persons, including the Deputy Chair of the CHP, Turkey’s main opposition party, engineers, architects and doctors joined in the demonstration.

As we noted in a previous blog, thousands of Turkish citizens have been imprisoned and await trials—some for over two years–under this law. Those arrested and imprisoned have even included lawyers defending others who were incarcerated.

In its most recent Annual Human Rights Report, Amnesty International again underlined the violations of freedom of speech carried out under the anti-terrorism law.

SEE THE REST OF THIS POST

Sri Lanka: Release security detainees

Apart from the issue of war crimes that I’ve written about lately, there’s another urgent human rights crisis in Sri Lanka:  thousands of people are being detained without charge or trial under the country’s repressive anti-terrorism laws.  Some have been held for 10 years or more.

Please write to the Sri Lankan government and ask that all those detained under these laws are either promptly released or else charged with recognizable crimes.  Sri Lanka’s emergency regulations and Prevention of Terrorism Act should be promptly repealed.