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Statement by Minister Coveney on the arrest of Human Rights Defenders in Turkey


The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Simon Coveney, T.D. today reacted to the formal arrest of six human rights defenders, including the Director of Amnesty International Turkey, Idil Eser, in Turkey yesterday.

Minister Coveney said:

"The arrest of these human rights defenders in Turkey marks a new low in the deeply troubling trend on fundamental freedoms that we are witnessing in Turkey. 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. Human rights organisations carry out essential and legitimate roles and their right to do so must be protected. In all cases, persons arrested must be accorded full due process, including the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial."