The detention on remand of two trainers from Sweden and Germany hired by Hivos and eight human rights defenders, including Amnesty International’s director in Turkey, has been extended by seven days. The Istanbul Ten’, as they are now referred to in the media, are being held in a police prison in Istanbul, in five-person cells. They were arrested on Wednesday, July 5, during a digital security and information management training organised by Hivos.
Hivos and Amnesty are deeply concerned by the suspicions expressed by the Turkish authorities regarding the detainees, amongst which is belonging to a terrorist organisation. However, no official complaint regarding these absurd accusations has yet been filed by the Turkish authorities.
The Hivos trainers and the other human rights defenders have been able to contact their lawyers, but the Swedish and German consulates have not yet received formal permission to visit the trainers.
Call on the Dutch Government
We urge the Dutch government to do everything possible – in cooperation with the Swedish and German governments – to ensure the arbitrarily and illegally arrested trainers and human rights activists are released quickly. We also ask the Netherlands to work with its European partners, for example the European Council during the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 July, for the unconditional release of the Istanbul Ten.