News Archives - ASSEDEL

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ASSEDEL launches Human Rights Assistance Project

ASSEDEL has the pleasure to announce the launching of the Human Rights Assistance Project (HRAP).

Our main objective is to defend and promote human rights in Europe with a special focus on Turkey. To this end, we submit reports and third-party interventions to various international organizations, courts, and other judicial mechanisms. Moreover, we have decided to take a step further to support victims of human rights violations by way of an advocacy and litigation initiative regarding the current infringements in Turkey.

We are convinced that our endeavors would contribute to the justiciability of human rights grievances before the European Court of Human Rights, the United Nations human rights mechanisms, and the Turkish Constitutional Court, considering the present circumstances in Europe and especially in Turkey where lawyers and human rights defenders are widely prosecuted and jailed. Thus, with this project, we aim to provide effective litigation guidance and support, notably for victims and legal practitioners, in order to ensure effective access to the available remedies. ASSEDEL also pledges to represent the victims before the aforementioned international mechanisms upon their request.

In this sense, we intend to deliver support for pilot cases regarding systematic human rights violations. With regard to the priority cases to be provided with assistance for the next months, ASSEDEL has opted for cases concerning “the abuse of anti-terror laws and systematic state of emergency violations in Turkey”. 

We hope this project would contribute to the effective protection of human rights in Europe. We will strive to assist you within our capacity and resources. To achieve this aim, we call upon the victims and the legal practitioners to contact us without any hesitation. 

Contact us via [email protected] !

You can also follow the HRAP’s twitter account and contact us from here.

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel responded to ASSEDEL’s letter

Before the visit of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council Charles Michel to Ankara on 6 April, ASSEDEL wrote letters to both leaders and requested them to discuss with the Turkish authorities human rights violations, the release of imprisoned journalists and the implementation of universal law as well as the withdrawal of the Istanbul Convention.

Ms. von der Leyen and Mr. Michel both responded to ASSEDEL’s letter.

To read the full letter of 27 April from President Ms von der Leyen in response to ASSEDEL’s letter, please click here.

To read the remarks by President Michel after his latest meeting in Ankara with President Erdoğan, please click here.

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The Draft on functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey

On April 21, 2021, the Committee on the Honouring of Obligations and Commitments by Member States of the Council of Europe has published a draft which is focusing on the functions of democratic institutions in Turkey. The monitoring committee is deeply concerned about recent news from Turkey about undermined democracy, the rule of law, and human rights.

In their draft, the committee indicates that The Istanbul Convention (Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence), was withdrawn by the presidential decision of 20 March 2021 and which caused a widespread reaction from society. To combat violence against women and domestic violence, the Istanbul Convention had a critical impact. Withdrawing from the convention happened without any parliamentary debate which raises the question of the modalities of denunciation of conventions in democratic societies.

They emphasize that the efforts to remove the parliamentary immunity of one-third of the parliamentarians (the vast majority of which are from opposition parties), the attempt to close down the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the continued repression of its members are threatening political pluralism and the functioning of democratic institutions. The committee also calls for the immediate release of Selahattin Demirtaş and Osman Kavala following the final judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.

Lastly, they urgently point out that to reverse these alarming trends, the Turkish authorities should take the opportunity of the implementation of the Human Rights Action Plan and the revision of the legislation on elections and political parties to take meaningful steps to end judicial harassment of the opposition and dissenting voices, improve freedom of expression and the media, and restore the independence of the judiciary, in cooperation with the Council of Europe.

To read the full draft, please click here.

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Letter to European Council and European Commission

Day by day, complaints against unlawful executions of Erdogan’s regime are rising around the world. 47 members of the European Parliament wrote and sent a letter to the president of the European Council and European Commission as a precautionary warning before the April 6 meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In this letter they highlight the threats to the fundamental right to personal security and the worry that has arisen due to specific instances of the Turkish Government’s menace. They emphasize that Turkish government often uses “Terrorism accusation and charges” as a reason to muzzle opponents and activists. 

They urge the respective presidents to keep in mind the many examples of the deteriorating democracy and human rights and recognize that this regime is extending dangerous ties to Europe and its citizens as well. This letter is written in  hopes of addressing these issues at the upcoming meeting, as well as work toward the easing of these tensions and relations. 

To read the full letter, please click here.

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Turkish MP and Human Rights Activist Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu was arrested and imprisoned

The Turkish MP and human rights defender, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu was arrested and imprisoned on April 02, 2021. The incident that led to his imprisonment was a tweet he retweeted two years ago. He has been subjected to many verbal attacks by members of the government over the past year, but he has continued to express the truth more resolutely, rejecting the accusations and insults made against him. The statements of the government members were soon approved by the ‘judiciary’. He is currently in Ankara Sincan High-Security Prison to serve his 2,5 years sentence.

ASSEDEL participated in an initiative last February and sent a statement signed by important human rights defenders and institutions to the relevant committees of the EU and UN and requested support for Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu.

To read the full briefing, please click here.

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Systematic rape and torture in Xinjiang’s internment camps

According to the new detailed reports obtained from the BBC, women in China’s so-called ‘‘re-education” camps have been systematically raped, tortured, and sexually abused. The victims told the BBC that they had experienced and seen evidence of organized system of mass rape, sexual abuse, and torture.

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Public statement request from Ms. Dunja Mijatovic, CoE Commissioner for Human Rights

A top appeals court has recently approved a jail sentence against Turkish lawmaker and human rights advocate Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu on terrorism charges which will open the way to him being barred from parliamentary membership. ASSEDEL sent a letter to Ms. Dunja Mijatovic, Human Rights Commissioner of Council of Europe, to ask for her support for Mr. Gergerlioglu.


Copies of the letter were shared with the PACE co-rapporteurs for the monitoring of Turkey, Mr. Thomas Hammarberg, former Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, and Mr. John Howell of the British Parliament.

To read the full letter, please click here.

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Letter of Intent to the President of the European Court of Human Rights

The President of the European Court of Human Rights recently has announced that they would invite relevant NGOs and associations to ECHR to exchange ideas. ASSEDEL conveyed a letter to the court presidency stating our intention to take part in this meeting.

To read the full letter, click here.

To read the response of the Presidency of the European Court of Human Rights, click here.

The response to our letter of intent by the ECHR has been welcomed by our association. It is gratifying to know that the ECHR values the efforts of the relevant NGOs and associations on human rights. Our association will welcome and attend an invitation to be held on the specified dates.

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