Turkey: provisional release of 10 Kurdish human rights defenders

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Arbitrarily detained since November 2011, the human rights defenders - 9 lawyers and 1 journalist - were provisionally released on March 18 by the Istanbul Penal Court which found no grounds for their continued detention.

The Observatory [1] has worked actively for their release and denounced their trial, one of many such show trials of Kurdish intellectuals and activists, as an act of judicial harassment to curtail their human rights activities. All were detained in an anti-terrorism operation for their alleged membership in the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK) under charges of “membership in an illegal organisation” and “directing an illegal organisation”.

FIDH calls upon the Turkish judicial authorities to unconditionally drop all charges and remains concerned for the 47 lawyers, one journalist, one legal secretary and two drivers still in detention.

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