Today in Turkey, at a hearing against 19 human rights defenders facing charges for “participating in an unlawful assembly” and “failing to disperse despite being warned”, the courts have decided to postpone the trial until 30 April 2021. The accused, 18 students and one academic, were arrested at a peaceful LGBTI Pride march at Turkey’s Middle East Technical University (METU) on 10 May 2019. If found guilty, they could face up to three years in prison.
Turkey must uphold its domestic and international commitments, and dismiss all charges against 19 human rights defenders, prosecuted for their participation in a peaceful Pride march at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara in May 2019, says Europe’s largest LGBTI rights umbrella organisation, ILGA-Europe.
The only just outcome is their wholesale acquittal at their next hearing on 10 December.
18 students and one academic face up to three years imprisonment in Turkey, should a judgement be made against them on December 10. The charges? Participating in a Pride march. Here’s the story so far, and how you can stand up for the METU 19.
We call on Turkey to respect, guarantee, protect and fulfil the fundamental rights of the LGBTI community without discrimination as enshrined by its Constitution and equality article therein (article 10), and ratified by human rights treaty bodies.
Civil Rights Defenders, International Federation for Human Rights, Front Line Defenders, and ILGA-Europe call upon Turkish authorities to drop all charges against 19 LGBTI+ rights defenders.
A system that doesn’t recognise diverse sexualities, along with biphobia in LGBT communities and beyond creates a unique and distressing situation for bisexual asylum seekers, says Iranian immigrant in the UK, Zeynab Peyghambarzadeh.
“If we make it ten steps, it will be a successful parade.” These are not the words that most Pride March organisers would ever want to say – but on the night before the 9th Middle Eastern Technical University Pride March, it was one we as the Pride organisers had to remind ourselves.
ILGA-Europe Communications Team
Two cities. Two groups of LGBTI community organisers. Two events with the same name. Two very different experiences – but one common shared lesson about the significance of Pride marches in 2018.
Joint public statement from Amnesty International, ILGA-Europe and All Out