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Unabated persecution and harassment of human rights defenders in Turkey

Every day, the persecution and criminalisation of the defense of human rights in Turkey provide new information and reports about human rights defenders facing harassment and harsh retaliation because of their peaceful work. Check out our monthly digest of alerts to learn more about the most recent information on attacks and threats against HRDs in the country.

Moreover, the situation of media is far from improving, and according to RSF, Turkey continues to be the world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists and the country is ranked 157 in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Spending more than a year in prison before trial is the new norm, and long jail sentences are common, in some cases as long as life imprisonment with no possibility of a pardon.

In consideration of these worrying developments in Turkey creating an ever less enabling environment for human rights defenders, with the support of Secretariat, five international organizations working in the human rights field established in late 2019 a grant-making program to provide support to human rights defenders in Turkey. The project aims to protect human rights defenders at risk, support human rights defender organizations in continuing to carry out their work while strengthening their domestic and international networks and increase their capacities in documenting human rights abuses, access to justice mechanisms and advocating for a more enabling environment for their work in Turkey.