Friday, August 15, 2008

Açıkalın and Beyaz Harrassed in Adana

From Bianet:
Human Rights Association (İHD) Adana branch representative Hüseyin Beyaz had his arm broken during a police search in the Adana province building of the Democratic Society Party (DTP).

In the incident that occurred in the morning of August 14, the police forced the İHD representatives, who were there as observes, to leave the premises. There was an argument between the police and the İHD Adana Branch President Ethem Açıkalın and the branch administrator Hüseyin Beyaz.

Açıkalın: We did not resist the police; we will sue
During this argument, the police pushed Beyaz down the stairs and his arm was broken. The medical report given to Beyaz stated he could not work for two months.

Açıkalın told bianet that they did not interfere, since the police had a search warrant, but the search was very arbitrary; they did not show any reason.

Planning to file a criminal report, Açıkalın said they did not resist the police, although the police filed a complaint saying that they were resisted during the search.

The İHD Adana announced that the Adana police had been trying all kinds of methods to prevent their activities for some time now.

İHD İStanbul: Those responsible should be identified and tried
Announcing the attack Açıkalın and Beyaz experienced, İHD’s Istanbul branch said that they condemned the violence the human rights defenders were subjected to while doing their job. They furthermore demanded the identification and trial of those responsible for the attack.

The announcement also pointed out to the UN’s Vienna Document regarding the World Human Rights Conference (1993) and the Declaration of the Protection of the Human Rights Defenders (1998), both of which emphasize protecting and assisting those who work in the field of human rights.

In spite of these documents, Ethem Açıkalın was deprived of his freedom for months without due process of law.
Açıkalın was arrested in Adana in January, and accused of being a member of Devrimci Sol, a Marxist terrorist group. He spent six months in pretrial detention.

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