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The Human Rights Association (İHD) İstanbul Branch has declared that 43 rights advocates, who were detained during their attempt to issue a statement for the press in Beşiktaş district in İstanbul, are still kept in custody.
The rights defenders rallied in front of Kartal Heykeli (Eagle Statue) to draw attention to the situation of arrested educators Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça, who are on the 152nd day of their hunger strike. However, the police intervened in the statement and detained 33 people. Later on, police assaulted the people who wanted to issue a statement about the detentions and the number of detainees increased to 43.
The İHD said that 43 people including İHD İstanbul Branch Chair attorney Gülseren Yoleri and Executive Board Member Doğan Özkan have been in custody for two days.
Noting that 43 people were detained by being battered, the İHD said “The human rights advocate who wanted to exercise their democratic right were subjected to ill-treatment”.
About Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça
On January 6, 2017, Nuriye Gülmen was discharged from her position through the Statutory Decree No. 679 issued under the State of Emergency.
On October 29, 2016, Semih Özakça was discharged from his position through the Statutory Decree No. 675 issued under the State of Emergency.
On March 9, 2017 Gülmen and Özakça went on an indefinite and non-alternate hunger strike in front of the Human Rights Statute on Yüksel Street in Turkey's capital city of Ankara.
They were taken into custody and later released several times during their hunger strike.
Being charged with "being a member of a terrorist organization" ,"opposing to the Law on Assembly and Demonstration" and "propagandizing for a terrorist organization", they were arrested on May 23. (AS/TK)
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