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The Turkish authorities must drop all charges against LGBTI activists who participated in Pride

Written declaration No. 701 | Doc. 15057 | 30 January 2020

Mr Christophe LACROIX, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Thorhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Mr Sos AVETISYAN, Armenia, SOC ; Ms Doris BARNETT, Germany, SOC ; Ms Petra BAYR, Austria, SOC ; Mr Fourat BEN CHIKHA, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Maryvonne BLONDIN, France, SOC ; Ms Margreet De BOER, Netherlands, SOC ; Ms María Luisa BUSTINDUY, Spain, SOC ; Ms Lise CHRISTOFFERSEN, Norway, SOC ; Mr Adnan DIBRANI, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Piero FASSINO, Italy, SOC ; Mr Pere LÓPEZ, Andorra, SOC ; Mr Simon MOUTQUIN, Belgium, SOC ; Ms Carina OHLSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Christian PETRY, Germany, SOC ; Ms Isabelle RAUCH, France, ALDE ; Ms Azadeh ROJHAN GUSTAFSSON, Sweden, SOC ; Mr Axel SCHÄFER, Germany, SOC ; Mr Krzysztof ŚMISZEK, Poland, SOC ; Ms Petra STIENEN, Netherlands, ALDE ; Mr Andrzej SZEJNA, Poland, SOC

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

The systematic crackdown on Freedom of Assembly of LGBTI people in Turkey continues as several court cases confirm Turkish authorities’ failure to fulfil their positive obligation to guarantee public security and freedom of assembly.

On 8 January 2020, Istanbul 9th Administrative Court rejected the lawsuit against the ban to organise the Istanbul Pride Parade in Bakırköy – an Istanbul Governorship-designated area for public demonstration. On 14 January, Mersin 1st Administrative Court rejected the lawsuit against the Governorate’s 20-day ban on LGBTI+ events surrounding 2019 Mersin Pride, stating that such events are a threat to public health and public morality. On the same day, the first hearing on criminal charges against three minors took place for participating in Izmir Pride. Investigations against others who also attended are ongoing. 19 LGBTI+ rights defenders await their second criminal hearing, scheduled 12 March, for attending the LGBTI+ Pride March at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara on 10 May 2019.

We call upon Turkish authorities to drop all charges against LGBTI people arrested during Pride events and suspend all bans against LGBTI+ events, including the general LGBTI+ ban in Ankara.