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Since July 2017, our friend and colleague, Ä°dil Eser, has been held in the highest security area of the highest security prison in Turkey.

Ä°dil, the Director of Amnesty International Turkey, was detained along with nine others during a workshop in Istanbul. They are accused of assisting a terrorist organisation. This is a ridiculous and baseless accusation. They have done nothing wrong.

We want to share with you a letter İdil has written from her prison cell, after hearing about the massive global response by people demanding her release. It’s a message of thanks, hope and courage.

12 September 2017, Silivri Prison No. 9

I would like to thank the entire Amnesty International movement. I send my heartfelt thanks to the International Secretariat, the [Amnesty Turkey] board, campaigners, people who have supported us with their signatures, and especially my colleagues who continue their work with self-sacrifice.

I thank my friends, who are my family – although not biologically. I am glad to have you. I am sure that many people would covet having siblings and friends like you. I am sorry that I had to burden you with my own responsibilities.

I am also sorry for the trouble caused to my colleagues, who have to deal with my case in addition to all the others. Together with the human rights defenders, I hope to be with you very soon.

I believe that Amnesty International plays a very important role in the application of human rights at a global scale. I always believed in the working methods and principles of the organisation and the importance of human rights; and I will keep believing in them. I am proud to be the Director of Amnesty International Turkey. In particular, I believe that organisations such as Amnesty International are becoming more important in a world where division and xenophobia are on the rise.

I think that our cause has further strengthened the solidarity between rights organisations, and I rejoice. I really wish I could stay in the same ward as my friends who are also being investigated. I miss music, my cats, being with my friends and being at my work.

Yet I am well, do not worry about me.

Continue your righteous work…


In the last year more than 180 media outlets have been shut down and an estimated 2,500 journalists and other media workers have lost their jobs. More than 140 journalists and media workers are imprisoned pending trial.

Dissent has become dangerous in Turkey and now even human rights defenders are being targeted.

Every day that our colleagues are detained, the people they spoke up for are left more vulnerable to the government’s brutal crackdown.

We won’t stop until they’re all free.

Please put pressure on Turkey to release Ä°dil and the other human rights defenders wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey. Take action now.

In solidarity
Fotis Filippou
Deputy Europe Director – Campaigns

PS. It’s Idil birthday this Saturday, let her know the world is standing in solidary with her. (c) October 13, 2017.


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