Statement by Minister Coveney on the detention Human Rights Defenders in Turkey
Press release06 July 2017
Following the arrest and detention of Ms. Idil Eser, Executive Director of Amnesty International, Turkey and nine others, including seven human rights defenders and two foreign nationals, in Büyükada, Istanbul yesterday, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Simon Coveney TD said:
"I have just learned of the arrest and detention of Ms. Idil Eser, Executive Director of Amnesty International, Turkey along with seven other human rights defenders in Islanbul yesterday. Their arrests come less than a month after the arrest of Mr. Taner Kiliç Chair of Amnesty International, Turkey and 22 other lawyers in Izmir in June.
While the exact circumstances of their detention remain unclear, the arrests mark a profoundly disturbing development in the ongoing trends we are seeing in Turkey in respect of human rights, democracy, rule of law and freedom of expression. Ms Eser and, indeed all those detained, must be granted access to their lawyers and full due process, including the presumption of innocence. I call on the Turkish authorities to recognise and respect the crucial role that NGOs, including Amnesty International, play in a functioning, democratic society.’’