EJI – 9 Oktober 2021
Dear human rights defenders, who consider it an honor to defend human dignity regardless of people’s color, language, race or religion! While we are suffering from having to write this letter, we believe that we, like you, are doing our most sacred duty, since it is also a debt of conscience and humanity.
In Turkey, especially in the last five years, hundreds of thousands of dissidents have been persecuted by President Erdoğan. Countless people who could in no way be associated with Erdogan’s “Reicshtag Fire”, the “military coup attempt”, were left to die without work or home. In addition, nearly 200,000 people were prosecuted, half of whom were arrested, according to the government data. Thousands of people were tortured in detention, dozens were forcibly disappeared. Tens of thousands of dissidents are still serving their sentences in prisons. Despite the explicit provision of the law, pregnant women and newly delivered women and bedridden patients are arrested. Dozens of people have died and continue to die since the treatment of sick prisoners is prevented in prisons.
As the only salvation from this “21st century Hell”, which we have tried to summarize for you in one paragraph, the opponents are trying to protect their most sacred and natural right, the right to life, by escaping to Greece by sea or river. So far, Greece has fulfilled its obligations arising from international legislation in order for these people, who are mostly Turkish citizens and other nationalities in similar situations, to continue their lives. However, especially in recent months, the so-called “push back” incidents have been repeated.These people, who were illegally pushed back to Turkey, are arrested and imprisoned after they are caught by Turkish law enforcement. Dozens of people lost their lives during these push-back events.
From you, esteemed human rights defenders, who have the highest level of humanitarian sensitivity, we are sending you our EMERGENCY CALL for HELP, so that you do not remain indifferent to this ongoing situation, help these desperate people, and voice our concerns in the international arena.
European Justice Initiative
Board of Directors