Turkish police detained 12 people, including the Turkey head of rights group Amnesty International, Idil Eser, and other rights activists at a meeting on an island near Istanbul, media said today.
They had gathered at a hotel on Buyukada island, just south of Turkey’s largest city, when they were taken to a police station yesterday, the Hurriyet newspaper said. It was not clear why they were held.
Amnesty called for the group’s release, saying it was “profoundly disturbed and outraged” at the detentions during a digital security and information management workshop.
Police were not immediately available to comment.
Among those detained were Eser and seven other human rights defenders, two foreign trainers – a German and a Swedish national – as well as the hotel owner, Amnesty’s statement said.
“This is a grotesque abuse of power and highlights the precarious situation facing human rights activists in the country,” said Amnesty’s Secretary-General, Salil Shetty.