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Tag: Human Rights Solidarity

EventsExecutive CommitteeHuman Rights Defenders

We are asking release of Inandi and other victims

DATE: 01 June 2022

PLACE: Turkish Embassy, London

COMMITTEE: Human Rights Defenders

Dear Friends!

We are once again in front of the Turkish Embassy in London!

We would love to have come here for celebration of Turkey’s EU membership, or of an international success of a Turkish team. But we are here for a reason that shames us all: We are here to protest the human rights violations the Turkish regime has been perpetuating.

We are here to protect the most basic human rights of living free lives, freedom of travelling and the right to have a fair trial.

Today is the anniversary of enforced disappearance of Educationist Orhan Inandi.

On this day last year, Orhan Inandi was forced to get off his car and was forcefully dragged to a van. His wife Reydan Inandi alarmed the world.

Orhan Inandi’s students and many Kyrgyz citisens called for a stop to his possible extradition to Turkey. Believing that he was kept at the Turkish Embassy in Bishkek, many camped around the embassy, protesting and demanding his immediate release.

Some of you were with us in protesting exactly here, in front of the Turkish Embassy.

For more than a month neither the Kyrgyz nor the Turkish authorities said anything about whereabouts of Orhan Inandi despite all calls from the United Nations.

Only after 37 days, the Turkish President stated that the Turkish intelligence had brought him to Turkey.

The Kyrgyz Government, which had previously awarded Inandi with a medal of honour was also complicit in this crime.

Orhan Inandi was tortured. He was forced to become an informer. He declined. His right hand was kept in strappado. He has been in jail for a year now and his right hand is still not fully cured.

Turkey’s Erdogan Regime has already become a mafia regime.

Every other day we hear another story of torture coming from Turkey.

This government kidnapped more than 100 educationists from around the world.

More than that number have forcefully disappeared within Turkey.

Sunay Elmas, Ayhan Oran, Yusuf Bilge Tunc, Gulistan Doku, Hurmuz Diril, Mehmet Bal…

These are only a few of the people who has gone missing for months and even years.

The Turkish Government is doing nothing to find them.

Because the perpetrator is the government.

In Turkey pregnant women, breast feeding mothers, ill and elderly people are arrested every other day.

Innocent girls are tortured under the pretext of investigation.

None of these are acceptable.

We reject all of these illegalities.

Turkish courts are not upholding the country’s laws, constitution and international obligations.

Erdogan has openly declared that he does not recognize the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

In fact, the European Courts decisions on Selahattin Demirtas and Osman Kavala have not been implemented.

How? And why the democratic word does not do anything to stop this?

The compromises given to the dicta regime in Ankara invites for more illegalities.

Today, this regime is asking for extradition of journalists and academics who have sought asylum in Sweden and Finland in return for unblocking these countries’ NATO membership.

Europe: Erdogan takes this courage from the concessions you gave to him as the guardian of Europe’s borders against immigrants.

Our governments are complicit in Erdogan regime’s crimes.

You cannot become truly democratic in London while blinding yourself to the human rights violations in Turkey.

We are a bunch of people here in front of the Turkish embassy – what we are doing is in fact the responsibility of all human rights organizations, of all democratic institutions of the world.

We are asking immediate release of Orhan Inandi and all other victims of enforced disappearances all around the world.

We are asking information on the whereabouts of other missing people who have gone missing while under state custody.

We support the basic human right of living free from arbitrary detention and unnecessary state intervention into one’s life.

We support the right to a fair trial for Orhan Inandi and for all other inmates in Turkish prisons.

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for being with us and supporting this cause today.

Thank you…

EventsHuman Rights DefendersImmigration Committee

‘Exhibition in Exile’ finds refuge in Newcastle Church

An exhibition of immigration cartoons by renowned cartoonists which had to flee persecution in Turkey together with its organizers in 2016 found a refuge in St James’ Benwell Church of Newcastle upon Tyne. Human Rights Solidarity joined Time to Help, GemArt, Comfrey Project and Being Woman as the organizers of the four days long exhibition.

A consortium of humanitarian aid, human rights, immigrant support organizations and a local church in Benwell are hosting an exhibition of cartoons on immigration, refugees and asylum seekers and the cynical response of the industrialized world to this emerging phenomenon. The exhibition is formed of cartoons that themselves had to flee Turkey in late 2016 when the organizing humanitarian aid organization Kimse Yok Mu (KYM), then a member of the UN’s ECOSOC, was taken over by the authoritarian regime in the country. Hence, the name Exhibition in Exile.

London based Time to Help and Human Rights Solidarity and Newcastle based GemArt, ComFrey Project and Being Woman came together to bring the cartoons that had been brought to Newcastle upon Tyne by Mr Levent Eyüpoğlu, a former director of KYM and a refugee in Newcastle, to life. The exhibition will be hosted by St. James’ Benwell Church between 23 and 26 June and will be open to visitors from 10:00 am to 4 pm throughout these dates.

The exhibition will host a selection from the 120 best cartoons originally selected from among 1,200 submissions to a global cartoon contest organized by KYM in 2016. The organizers have also brought together Turkish and other immigrant musicians and artists for a series of accompanying events, including live music, various art workshops and a panel of prominent figures active in immigration related affairs.

The launching event of the Exhibition in Exile will start at 11:00 am on 23 June 2022, Thursday with a cocktail and it will be followed with a panel discussion with the participation of Mr Kerim Balci as the moderator of the panel, environmental visual artist Artep Avordno, ex-Lord Mayor and councillor Habib Rahman, Director of The Comfrey Project Eleni Venaki and academics and activists.

The Exhibition in Exile will be open to visits till 4:00 pm on 26 June 2022, Sunday, the last day of the Refugee Week 2022.

WHAT: Exhibition in Exile: An exhibition of cartoons by renowned cartoonists on immigration, refugees and asylum seekers accompanied by a panel discussion, music performance by immigrant community groups and art workshops.

WHEN: 23 June (Launching event, panel discussion and music performance); 23-26 June 2022 (Exhibition, art workshops and occasional live music)

WHERE: St James’ Benwell Church, Benwell Lane, Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 6RS

Events

Cross Party Joint Letter calling the UK government

Cross Party Joint Letter calling the UK government to make human rights as a condition of improved relations with Turkey

DATE: 11 May 2021

PLACE: Online Campaign

COMMITTEE: Write for Rights

Human Rights Solidarity organized a Write Your MP campaign to support the Cross Party Joint Letter launched by Crispin Blunt MP and Hilary Benn MP, calling on the UK government to make human rights as a precondition for improving economic and political relations with Turkey. We invited our volunteers all around the UK to write letters to their members of parliament, encouraging them to undersign the joint letter. When the letter was finally sent to the then Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs Dominic Raab by the two co-organizers, the joint letter was signed by 53 members of the parliament.

HRS hopes that this important campaing will bring about further steps towards adoption of an ethical foreign policy by the UK government.

210511 Britain’s Relationship with Turkey

BlogWomen’s Rights

Marching for Women’s Rights in London

Marching for Women’s Rights in London

By Asiye Betül

This year’s Million Women Rise march, themed against male violence was on the 5th of March. Exactly a year after the violent murder of Sarah Everard. The march started in front of the Charing Cross police station and ended in front of the New Scotland Yard. These locations were crucial to the protest, because as Sabrina Qureshi, the founder of Million Women Rise, said, despite the fact that we pay for the police to keep us safe and protect us, there are still to this day, multiple incidents of the police violence against women. The police continues on to ignore occasions of abuse of women. In short, the police keeps failing women.

Male violence cases have been surging since the start of the pandemic, and despite all attempts to improve the system, few women can find a remedy in it.

As the Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Committee of Human Rights Society we decided to place a male embodiment of all news coverages of violence against women inside a cage. This was symbolising both the source of violence against women, and the kind of freedom we women would enjoy had this source been neutralized.

The male mannequin character had newspaper clippings covering male violence cases such as “I killed 17 women” and “Violent ex stalked women” around his body. This physical demonstration was one of the highlights of the whole march and got a lot of attention from many media outlets such as the BBC, The Guardian and The Independent.

This was our turn to say “Stop!” This was our turn to ask for justice, to claim back our long lost safety, right in front of those who deny us from it.

We asked them to “Stop the violence!” and “Stop the rape!”

Because women have had enough; because there will be no peace if no justice is delivered.

It was a cold Saturday in London indeed. We raised our banners up to the sky under 4 degrees Celsius, while our hands and legs were shivering. We embraced each other in order to keep warm; in order to keep safe.

The march ended with a rally in front of New Scotland Yard. Speakers and campaigners stood up against male violence and highlighted how racism, xenophobia and homophobia were the main causes of police brutality against women. The campaigners highlighted that “Enough is Enough” and women will not tolerate any more violence against themselves.

I was very honoured to be able to recite my poem “On Womanhood” during the rally. I expressed my worries on how while “boys will be boys, girls never get to be girls”. It was a moving experience for me to have amazing, inspiring and shivering women listen to me and support me by their ovations. I also received a few hugs from strangers by the end of my performance. It was truly an unforgettable moment.

With these feelings still warm and alive in my heart, I leave you with the poem:

On Womanhood

To be born into womanhood is to be born neck-deep into guilt.

It means to be a house haunted by shame.

It means to be a daughter, a mother and a sister – before a person, because boys won’t care unless you compare them to their birth givers.

It’s getting your screams and cries ignored, it’s getting your right to justice avoided – Because women bleeding doesn’t bother men unless it’s from periods.

To be a woman is to grow up earlier than boys, It’s getting told what girls do and don’t.

It’s being so aware that you are a girl, you forget you’re human. 

It’s having to accept when your mother says “boys will be boys, that’s what they do”,

Is that what boys will be? Will boys be boys? 

Will boys be rapists? Murderers?

Will boys be abusers and predators?

Boys will be boys

Boys will be boys, and girls will never forget to look behind themselves when they’re alone at night. girls will be girls instead of women, because even that is too much for a boy to grasp. a woman becomes a girl when her hands bleed from clutching her keys too tight. 

a woman becomes a girl in a boy’s eyes.

Boys will be boys. But, will girls be girls? Will girls be alive?

Girls never get to be girls, women never get to be women. 

And today we will stand and scream and make noise, for those who never got the chance to have a voice.

We’ll stand for the women in war. We’ll stand for the women of Ukraine, For the women of Palestine, the women of Syria, the women of Sudan!

For the women unlawfully detained!

Raise your voice for the Uyghur women of China getting ethnically cleansed!

For the women of Iran, the women of India, the women of Africa!

For the women whose rights are ignored!

Raise your voices for the women of Pakistan, the women of Spain and Brazil!

The women of the United Kingdom who were killed by the police!

For the women whose justice was never offered!

Raise your voices for the women who lost their lives to violence.!

For the women who never got their respects paid!

Let us all rise for our sisters all around the world! Let us ask for justice!

EventsImmigration Committee

Immigration Bill Protest

DATE: 11 October 2021

PLACE: Opposite Number 10, Downing Street

COMMITTEE: Immigration Committee  

The UK Home Secretary’s new immigration bill is simply an attack on the principles enriched in the Refugee Convention. Such a bill that criminalises refugees and asylum seekers is unacceptable in a country such as the UK that is proud to be the cradle of democracy.

Human Rights Solidarity was in front of the prime minister’s house on October 11 2022, to protest this inhumane bill and demand justice for immigrants and asylum seekers. The protest lasted around an hour and a small group of our volunteers raised their voices against the bill. We hope that our voices were heard, and that such an antidemocratic bill will not be proposed by any other official again.

Here are a volunteer’s words on their experience at the Immigration Bill Protest:

“As a group that mostly consists of young refugees and asylum seekers, it was very empowering to stand up for our own rights and our justice. I believe our efforts were deliberate and I hope our government will not repeat their same racist mistakes.”

And here is the speech HRS volunteer Asiye Betul made during the protest:

Dear Friends,

We’re gathered here today, because our government has made us come here once again – to ask for basic human rights. Because they will not put a stop to the madness that started with Brexit. The madness seems to be going towards de-ratifying the European Convention on Human rights.

Can you think of it: The British government is planning to withdraw from parts of a declaration that is accepted as the benchmark of human rights!! And that declaration is largely work of British intellectuals…

Can you see how much our country is driven away from its own values?

Can you see that while trying to claim control of our own borders, this government is creating artificial borders between us and human rights?

Dear Human Rights Advocates!

Throughout the summer Parliamentary committees worked on the so called Immigration Bill… The New Plan of Priti Patel…

All experts, all human rights lawyers and advocates told the government that this is not a New Plan; it is a Stupid Plan.

You cannot simply decide that all irregular entrants to the country are illegal or criminal…

I’m sure Ms. Patel would know that- When you’re running for your life, you don’t have time to think about paperwork – you just run.

Yet here are our politicians, here is Ms. Patel, trying to criminalise, to give penalties for those who do so.

Dear friends!

Did you know that our government considered building wave machines to deter migrant boats?

Isn’t this equivalent of saying “Drown in the sea instead of coming to my land?”

We are angry at the Greek authorities because of the pushbacks. Isn’t this an obvious form of pushback.

Hear us Priti Patel!

Nobody chooses to become an immigrant.

And your government has a share in pushing Syrians and Afghans to the edge of escaping their countries.

You contributed to the problem; you cannot escape from the solution!

We shout out loud:

Kill the bill!

Kill the bill!

You want a Global Britain? Be responsible about the rest of the Globe!

You want a flourishing economy? Utilize the human resources that will pour into our country!

You want a true democracy? Don’t be alarmed that people want to live in this country; be proud of it!

WE WILL NOT LET YOU GO ON WITH THIS STUPID PLAN

Kill the bill!

Kill the bill!

EventsImmigration CommitteeYoutube

Refugee Solidarity Week 2021

DATE: 20 June 2021

PLACE: YouTube

COMMITTEE: Immigration Committee

Refugee Solidarity Week is a week of celebration of contribution of the immigrant communities to the UK society, launched by Human Rights Solidarity in 2020. It is celebrated within the framework of the Refugee Week, which houses the World Refugee Day (20 June). Refugee Solidarity Week is aimed at celebrating, empowering and inspiring refugees and their contribution to the UK and encouraging a better understanding between communities. Our programme for 2021 included art and music performances, poetry and film and book reviews. We also had an interview with Becky Dell from Citizens of the World Choir and Moses Saidler from Refugee Education UK.

The whole event was broadcast alive on our YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zblkJrDYoy0

Here are a volunteer’s words for their experiences at the Refugee Solidarity Week:

“Participating in the making of this programme as a refugee was an unforgettable experience. I hope we were able to motivate and encourage other refugees around the world as well. This event helped me develop my skills in hosting and video editing, participating in Human Rights Solidarity projects is always a great delight.”

What have we learned?

This experience gave us the chance to better develop our teamwork skills and allowed us to further expand our talents in arts, music and literature, letting us use them in means of activism and advocacy as well. It showed us that we, as refugees and volunteers, can have an impact on change using our skills and talents.

Blog

Walking towards freedom

Four years have passed over the thwarted coup attempt of July 2016 in Turkey. The world is yet to hear a convincing and consistent statement of what happened that night, and who should be held accountable for the deaths of hundreds. A clarification is not provided, neither by the accusers, nor by the accused. In the meantime, half a million people continue to suffer from the ensuing persecution of dissent.