Amnesty International (AI) Secretary-General Salil Shetty posed for a picture on Tuesday outside İstanbul’s Silivri Prison where AI Turkey Director İdil Eser is being held.
Eser, who has been jailed since her detention on July 5, has no visitors since people who are arrested on terrorism charges can only meet with their immediate family and lawyers once a week, and she has no immediate family.
Shetty shared his picture outside the prison in a tweet that said, “We won’t stop fighting for her release.”
According to government decree no. 667 issued under a state of emergency (OHAL) that was put into effect soon after a botched coup attempt in Turkey last July, people who are arrested on terrorism charges can only meet with their immediate family and lawyers once a week.
Eser’s lawyer, Erdal Doğan, said: “İdil Eser’s father and mother are not alive, she has no siblings, she is not married and has no children. According to the OHAL law, nobody can go to visit her. Thus, because of the OHAL law she has no visitors. This is a most serious violation of human rights and the law.”
Reminding that before the existence of OHAL decrees prisoners could give the names of people who would visit them, Doğan said some friends of Eser would file a petition with the prosecutor’s office to ask for permission to visit her.
Six human rights activists, including Eser and German human rights consultant Steudtner, who were detained on July 5 during a workshop at a hotel on İstanbul’s Büyükada, were put in pretrial detention by an İstanbul court on July 18 on charges of “abetting a terrorist organization.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the human rights defenders of plotting a follow-up to a July 15, 2016 coup attempt, during a press conference in Hamburg on July 8, and signaled that the detention of the rights defenders could turn into imprisonment.