Protection from Afar
The Working Group Stop the Cycle of Violence in Turkey published a new booklet, Protection from Afar: How to support people in Turkey and visitors to Turkey in cases of persecution and arbitrary arrest. 'Stop the Cycle of Violence in Turkey' is coordinated by War Resisters' International and includes members from International Fellowship of Reconciliation Austria, Connection e.V., Federation for Social Defence e.V. as well as activists from Turkey.
Protection from Afar provides insights and advice about how to respond to the cases of persecution and/or threats to the safety of human rights defenders in Turkey where physical protective accompaniment is not feasible.
'Protective accompaniment from afar' means providing protection without being physically present in the country. It looks at what local people can do – particularly activists or friends of the persecuted. The booklet also explores what international supporters can do to help secure the safety of those seeking to peacefully exercise their democratic rights.
Since 2016, the Turkish government has placed more than 220,000 people under investigation. Many have been arrested and sentenced to imprisonment, accused of supporting terrorism or the Gülen movement which has been deemed responsible for the July 2016 attempted coup.
These charges would often not stand up to the rules of jurisprudence in a democratic state. Human rights defenders speak of arbitrary persecution of anyone who is critical of the current President and its administration.
With the Protection from Afar booklet, 'Stop the Cycle of Violence in Turkey' Working Group aims to provide advice to those seeking to offer support in cases of persecution of human rights activists, and of people whose only “crime” has been a critical comment on social media.
Table of Contents:
- The concept of Protection from Afar
- Legal provisions in regard to criminal investigation, arrests and court cases
- Overarching issues when organizing protection
- The role and strategies of local grassroots‘ support groups and networks
- The role and strategies of international grassroots‘ support groups and networks
- The role and strategies of governmental support
- Helpful resources
- About the WRI Working Group
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