Defend International has appealed for the release of two archbishops kidnapped in Syria over two years ago. Co-founder of Defend International, Dr. Widad, appealed today to all governments, parliaments, the United Nations, the International Red Cross, NGOs and all those who uphold the principles of human rights and justice to 1) issue a global call on the kidnappers to release the archbishops unconditionally; and 2) use all means at their disposal to ensure that the archbishops are released as soon as possible.
While Defend International welcomed the release of two British journalists who were charged earlier this week with “aiding a terrorist organisation,” it raised deep concerns about the erosion of press freedom in Turkey. With the latest wave of arrests and firing of journalists, DI continues to call on Turkey to allow freedom of expression and the right of media to operate without any form of censorship.
Defend International condemned the executions of two Kurdish political activists, both convicted of being “mohareb,” enemies of God. They were tortured, denied fair trails, and forced to ‘confess’ under duress. Thus, the Iranian authorities are guilty of acts of cruelty that are in violation of international law.
Defend International is deeply concerned that the prominent Turkish newspaper columnist Mr. Kadri Gursel has been sacked from his position over a social media post, in which he reportedly criticised Turkey’s President. DI co-founder urged the Turkish authorities to ensure that Mr. Gursel and his colleagues are able to carry out their work under safe conditions, without hindrance, harassment or intimidation.
Defend International strongly condemns the Paris terrorist attacks and stands in solidarity with France in this terrible time of mourning. DI is launching a new campaign titled “Save Free World: Ensure Security of Civilians,” to raise awareness about the new reality in the world and urge the authorities to act immediately to ensure the safety and security of citizens in all countries.