Friday, February 9, 2018

Turkish LGBTQ Activist Released

Ali Erol a leading LGBTQ human rights defender & co-founder of Kaos GL Association Turkey’s first registered LGBT organization has been released from detention after being arrested in the home he shares with his partner February 2nd in Ankara, Turkey. Though Erol has been released his case is still under judicial review & the prosecution will continue. Erol will be required to appear before the police periodically & is banned from leaving the country. The exact reasons surrounding his arrest & prosecution has been kept confidential by authorities though Kaos GL reports that the police had a warrant for his social media posts. Yildiz Tar, Media & Communications Coordinator at Kaos GL stated, “Secrecy is a very common strategy in Turkey. First they detain, ask questions about something, then they prepare the charges & we can only learn it in trial or just before the trial.” Jessica Stern, Executive Director at OutRight Action International added, “The ambiguity of the case & seemingly arbitrary reasons for Ali Erol’s arrest speaks to the deteriorating situation faced by LGBTIQ & all, human rights defenders in Turkey. The blanket ban on LGBTIQ events already trampled on the rights to assembly, now even the rights to express oneself freely is being punished. The Turkish government needs to stop violating the human rights of its citizens immediately.” In November 2017 the governor of Ankara banned all LGBTI related events in the Turkish capital, citing that such events could spur public animosity from other groups & the need to maintain safety & security. Since the ban, LGBTIQ organizations have been on alert & face increasing pressure.
For More Info: outrightinternational.org
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