Freedom House is participating in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (OSCE-HDIM), an annual conference for reviewing the human rights commitments of the OSCE's 57 Participating States. Freedom House and its partner organizations will make interventions on topics relating to fundamental freedoms.
Freedom House is dismayed by the announcement that Turkish prosecutors would seek the arrest of organizers of Taksim Solidarity, a leader of the Gezi Park protests, for “founding a criminal organization” with the intention of inciting violence. The charges appeared to be another move to punish peaceful protest in Turkey. Although a court has rejected the initial charges, the prosecutors may raise them again at their discretion, which constitutes a clear threat to freedom of speech and assembly.
As antigovernment protests in Turkey go into their second week, Freedom House is alarmed that the government has continued to escalate the crisis through inflammatory rhetoric and use of riot police against protesters, and urges the government of Turkey to deescalate a dangerous situation by respecting freedom of assembly, refraining from the use of force, and engaging with protesters in Istanbul, Ankara, and other cities across the country.