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Tag: justice

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Council to EuropeEventsHuman Rights Defenders

2nd Strasbourg meeting for justice: Letter to the Council of Europe and the ECtHR

 

We came together for the second time in Strasbourg to reiterate our call for justice against rights violations in Turkey. Nearly 3 thousand people who have been subjected to rights violations in Turkey met in Strasburg, France, where the European Court of Human Rights and the Council of Europe are located, and demanded urgent justice.

The second ‘Strasbourg Justice Meeting’ and ‘justice march’, the first of which was organised last year, was held today. The march protested against the silence of European political structures and legal institutions in the face of rights violation applications from Turkey.

Organised by a number of European human rights organisations including Human Rights Solidarity, the demonstration included a concert and various theatrical performances. Jeremy Corbyn, the former leader of the Labour Party in the UK, also made a speech on the stage, supporting the protesters and criticising the ECHR for delaying its decisions. Famous NBA player and activist Enes Kanter and Norwegian theologian Dag Aakre took the stage and expressed their demands for justice.

Approximately 3 thousand people who left Turkey due to severe human rights violations they suffered in Turkey for about 10 years gathered on All de la Robertsau Street, where the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and the Council of Europe are located. Wearing yellow t-shirts and carrying yellow balloons and banners, the crowd expressed their demands for justice in front of the Council of Europe and the ECHR buildings after 12.00 pm. “Justice delayed is not justice! Victims are here, where is the court?” they chanted. Since no one from the Council of Europe greeted them, the victims left a letter with their demands at the door. The group then continued their march and stopped in front of the ECHR to present their letters to the officials of the institution.

LETTER TO THREE IMPORTANT EUROPEAN NAMES

Yasemin Aydın and Rumi Unal, representatives of the Peacefull Actions Platform, which represents hundreds of thousands of people whose rights have been violated, presented a letter addressed to three names holding important positions in European institutions. During the presentation of the letter, a theatrical performance was staged criticising the ECHR for issuing its judgements too late. A prison cell on wheels representing people who have been imprisoned for years also took place during the march.

The letter read as follows:

“Inhumane practices against all opposition groups in the country continue unabated. These widespread and systematic violations have been characterised as ‘crimes against humanity’ by the relevant UN bodies. Once again, no progress has been made on the more than three thousand educational institutions, thousands of legal associations and at least $32 billion in private assets confiscated after 15 July. Tens of thousands of women, the elderly, the sick and hundreds of babies under the age of six are still being held in prisons for political reasons. Dozens of people continue to be arrested on hollow charges on an almost daily basis. The hope of thousands of people systematically subjected to gross human rights violations is that the Council of Europe and the ECtHR, which have the authority to take binding decisions on Turkey, will enforce the law. It is essential that these institutions take their legal position on these acts of crimes against humanity without further delay and fulfil their obligations immediately. We are grateful for some of the judgements of the ECtHR during this time, which have been a breath of fresh air for the victims of political repression. However, we expect the Court, as soon as possible, to stop ignoring the fact that more than half a million people are being persecuted simply for exercising their fundamental rights, such as subscribing to a newspaper, having a bank account or sending their children to legally operating schools, joining a religious chat group or using a mobile communication app.”

INJUSTICES HIGHLIGHTED

As in the previous year, this year, as well as foreign guests, people who have been subjected to rights violations in Turkey and their families made speeches at the Justice Gathering. Melek Cetinkaya, mother of Taha Furkan Cetinkaya, a military student who was released after 6 years in prison, lawyer Elif Buyukozturk, teacher Halit Tonbul, teacher Gonca Kara who lost her two children Gulsum and Mustafa in the Aegean Sea, academic Salih Hosoglu, Nesrin Kisi, wife of torture victim Zabit Kisi, were among the speakers.

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EventsExecutive Committee

Justice Wall: Celebrating Human Rights

DATE: 10 December 2021

PLACE: Opposite of Number 10, Downing Street

COMMITTEE: Executive Committee

We celebrate our rights on the 10th of December every year on the occasion of the UN Human Rights Day. We demand justice for those who cannot speak up for themselves and whose voices are not heard. To make sure our voices are heard, we showed up opposite Downing Street with an 8m long banner wall and asked people to write their views on justice and current human rights violations around the world. We’ve seen people demanding justice for Uyghurs, Latin Americans, Palestine, Kurds, Turks, Libyans, Afghanis, Belarusian, women and transgenders. This project showed us the importance of true solidarity for human rights. We supported our Justice Wall with Instagram broadcasts at different times throughout the day.

Here are a volunteer’s words on their experience at the Justice Wall:

“ It was phenomenal, and one of my first interactive events (other than protests). I feel like us being in the frontier and socially interacting people in public and getting to see their reactions live was energetic and hyping!! It let us remember what we are doing, and what we can do. I truly believe it was a huge motivator as well as an amazing and inclusive project.”

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

Dear friends,

Before we get started, I would like to celebrate our rights. Mine, yours and all of ours! Happy day human rights day to us!

We have united here today to observe and  celebrate the day of our rights, the day of  the rights that make us who we are and the rights that should be available for all of us. While doing so, we demand justice for those whose rights are being violated, those whose voices are being silenced. We remind you that we will not forget the rights that some have forgotten.

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, and has been celebrated every year since then.

But Dear friends,

How much have these rights been applied since then? Why can’t all humans reach those rights?

Isn’t it strange that some rights are still being violated while we’re sat here celebrating them? Isn’t it strange that there’s a genocide happening in front of our eyes in China? Isn’t it strange that we’re building walls, putting out immigration bills? That there are journalists arrested in Brazil and Turkey? Isn’t it so strange that our rights are still being violated, in this very day?!

As we stand here with our wall of Justice, we will ask for the long awaited justice! We will not only ask for ours, but everyone’s rights! And we will let this wall be proof, of all those whose rights are denied and forgotten.

Because rights are only human, when they apply to all of us.

Because we are only human, when we fight for rights.

Dear Friends!

Happy Human rights day!

Let us celebrate our rights! Let us fight for our rights!