Amnesty International Lawyer hauled before court 100 times for work with minorities

A vocal critic of the Turkish Government is facing many years in prison for speaking out for minorities.

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Turkey is in the throes of a state of emergency imposed in the wake of the failed July 15 coup with almost 37,000 people placed under arrest play

Turkey is in the throes of a state of emergency imposed in the wake of the failed July 15 coup with almost 37,000 people placed under arrest

(AFP/File)
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A vocal critic of the Turkish Government is facing many years in prison for speaking out for minorities.

Lawyer and former newspaper editor, Eren Keskin has been on the Turkish Government’s radar for a long time, according to Amnesty International.

The human rights group is demanding justice for her, as 11 years ago she angered authorities after accusing the government of “slaughtering a 12-year-old child” named Uğur Kaymaz.

She published an article on it in a Kurdish newspaper she edited, she has been repeatedly charged with insulting the Turkish state and the President.

Through her work she has insisted that the authorities must be held accountable for the injustice.

She has been hauled before the courts more than 100 times for sympathising with Turkey’s Kurdish minority, and served six months in prison for using the word “Kurdistan” in an article, Amnesty International said.

play Eren Keskin (Amnesty International)

 

“The sheer volume of cases against her are nothing short of harassment. Eren should be free to carry out her human rights work without fear of persecution,” it said in a statement, calling for supporters to sign a petition and tell the Turkish authorities that peaceful activism is not a crime.

Since a failed coup in July, Turkey has been underfire internationally for its extreme crackdown on dissidents.

This week th BBC reports Turkish authorities are investigating foster families for suspected ties to the failed coup - an official said authorities may remove children from homes if their guardians are found to be coup supporters.

More than 125,000 people were dismissed or suspended and about 40,000 others arrested after the coup attempt.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the vote in the EU parliament to halt Turkey's membership talks had "no value at all" play

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the vote in the EU parliament to halt Turkey's membership talks had "no value at all"

(AFP/File)

 

The European parliament has voted for a temporary halt to EU membership talks with Turkey because of its "disproportionate" reaction.

However, the Turkish government says its investigations are necessary to curb the influence of Fetullah Gulen, the US-based Muslim cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating the coup. Gulen, who lives in the US has condemned the coup and denies any involvement in it.

Human rights groups say President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to curtail dissent.



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