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Amnesty urges action to confront Turkey’s ‘serious human rights’ violations

Amnesty International has called on world leaders at the G20 summit in the German city of Hamburg to stand up to “violations of human rights” by the Ankara government.

According to Press TV, Amnesty Secretary General Salil Shetty said in Hamburg on Saturday “The country is in a serious human rights crisis.”

“It is impossible for the G20 on the one hand to say it upholds values of democracy and free speech and on the other ignore blatant violations of human rights,” he added.

Shetty was in the German city to lobby G20 leaders to help secure the release of the local director and chair of the rights group, who are among thousands arrested in a crackdown that followed the July 2016 failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Shetty described the Turkish leader, who is attending the G20 summit, as a “hyper-nationalist” ruler using repressive measures to increase popularity at home.

Turkish police arrested Amnesty’s Turkey Director Idil Eser and several other activists on July 5. The detention came less than a month after a court ordered the arrest of the local head of Amnesty International, Taner Kilic, for alleged links to US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is accused by Ankara of having orchestrated last year’s abortive coup.

Turkey witnessed a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, when a faction of the military declared that Erdogan’s government was no more in charge of the country.

A few hours later, however, the coup was suppressed. Almost 250 people were killed and nearly 2,200 others wounded in the abortive coup.

Since then, Ankara has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups who were believed to have played a role in the failed putsch. Over 50,000 people have been arrested and 150,000 others sacked or suspended from a wide range of professions, including soldiers, police, teachers, and public servants, over alleged links to terrorist groups.