Skip to content

KHRP | Kurdish Human Rights Project

narrow screen resolution wide screen resolution Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color brown color green color red color blue color

Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

You are here: 
Skip to content

Charity Awards

Charity Awards

Gruber Prize


Gruber Justice Prize

KHRP greatly concerned at the arrest of Ragip Zarakolu

KHRP is greatly concerned about the arrest of Ragip Zarakolu, a tireless defender of minority rights and freedom of expression in Turkey.

Mr. Zarakolu, highly acclaimed writer, publisher and chief editor of Belge Publishing House, was arrested in Istanbul on 28 October 2011 and stands accused of being a member of the KCK (Koma Civakên Kurdistan) party, an illegal organization under the Turkish anti-terror legislation. Mr. Zarakolu was transferred to the Metris high-security prison following a decision on the 14th High Criminal Court in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, on 1 November 2011.
The arrest of Ragip Zarakolu, alongside several other intellectuals including Professor Büşra Ersanlı and his son Deniz Zarakolu (earlier in October), is the latest example of a larger crackdown on people engaged in civic activism, including trade union and human rights activists, mayors and local politicians. The crackdown is part of a broader operation aimed at stifling the voices of those seeking greater rights and recognition for the Kurds in Turkey. KHRP has previously raised concerns about a number of areas of the operation including lengthy pre-trial detention without bail (some, including Muharrem Erbey, a prominent human rights defender and Vice President of the Human Rights Association of Turkey, have been held pending trial since the start of the operation in April 2009), politically motivated charges, and failure to adhere to international fair trial standards.

These latest arrests potentially violate numerous principles of international human rights law including the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. They also demonstrate the validity of the concerns recently raised by the European Commission in the latest EU Progress report on Turkey regarding the number of court cases against writers and journalists, and the restrictions on access to the Internet. Accordingly, KHRP calls on the Turkish authorities to investigate and monitor the prosecution of Mr. Zarakolou and all others arrested in this operation  and calls for their cases to be dealt with expeditiously.