The pressures on human rights defenders in Turkey are continuing increasingly. On February 3rd, the Diyarbakır Office of the Human Rights Association (İHD) was raided by the police and the Executive Board Member of İHD’s Diyarbakır Branch, Ferhat Berkpınar was taken into custody. This week, İHD Co-Chairs Eren Keskin and Öztürk Türkdoğan will appear before the court in two separate trials held in Dersim and Ankara.
A well-wishing tweet and a panel speech cited as evidence for ‘terrorism propaganda’
On February 17th, the first hearing of the trial where the Co-Chair of the Human Rights Association (İHD), Attorney Eren Keskin faces “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” charge will be held in the Tunceli 2nd High Criminal Court, at 09:00.
The two-page indictment presents Keskin’s statements at a panel held in Dersim on July 28th, 2019 and a tweet Keskin had shared on her personal account on January 8th, 2018 in which she had shared her well wishes for Kurdish football player Deniz Naki who was targeted and attacked at that time. In the indictment, the prosecutor claims that Keskin had committed the offense in a consecutive manner and via press and asks for her sentence to be increased accordingly.
The indictment was prepared after an investigation launched against Keskin as part of which her mother’s house was raided by the police on December 4th, 2021. After the police could not find Keskin at the house they had raided, the police later called Keskin and invited her to the police station for her statement. Keskin, protested the raid on her Twitter account and said that “We are lawyers and you know where our offices are. Stop disturbing our families, stop coming to our houses…”
A 2018 İHD press statement cited as evidence for ‘insulting’ Süleyman Soylu
On February 18th, the first hearing of the trial where the Co-Chair of the Human Rights Association (İHD), Attorney Öztürk Türkdoğan faces “insult by means of an oral, written or visual medium message” charge upon complaint by the Minister of Internal Affairs Süleyman Soylu, will be held in the Ankara 60th Criminal Court of First Instance, at 11:45.
The indictment presents the press statement titled “A Necessary Statement About the Minister of Internal Affairs Süleyman Soylu” by İHD as evidence against Türkdoğan. The prosecutor claims that Öztürk attacked “the dignity and the honor of Süleyman Soylu by swearing at him.”