Human rights defender faces anti-terror probe for criticizing injustice

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Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu

An anti-terror investigation has been launched into Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, a physician and columnist and the former head of the Association for Human Rights and Solidarity for the Oppressed (Mazlum-Der), for speaking out against post-coup rights abuses.

Gergerlioğlu said in a statement on Saturday that a Kocaeli prosecutor launched an investigation into him on allegations of disseminating propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization.

“My articles and social media posts about justice, peace and human rights were mentioned as evidence. A statement of mine for an event with the theme ‘Let children not die, let mothers not cry’ and in which I underlined brotherhood, peace and resolution [of the Kurdish issue] was considered to be propaganda. Also, one of my posts that recommended a Colombian-like peace process for Turkey and my participation in a TV program on IMC TV (regardless of my speech’s content) were considered a crime (!),” the statement said.

IMC TV was earlier shut down by the government under the government’s post-coup emergency rule which also removed Gergerlioğlu from his position as a physician at Kocaeli State Hospital.

Gergerlioğlu is also known for his support of post-coup victims.

“… I have joined others who face investigation over efforts for human rights and peace,” Gergerlioğlu added.

The government has detained more than 126,000 people and detained over 55,000 people since the July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Among them are many rights defenders including Amnesty International’s Turkey director İdil Eser and the office’s chairman Taner Kılıç. (Turkey Purge)

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