On the occasion of the World Day Against Child Labour, Defend International condemns the exploitation of Syrian refugee children in Turkey and calls on the authorities to provide refugee children with the opportunity to attend public schools that are suited to their needs.
Defend International denounces in the strongest possible terms the atrocities committed by the Turkish army against civilian Kurds in the Kurdish provinces. The humanitarian situation is alarming. Citizens are trapped in a war zone, hiding in the basements, holding their breath under the constant noise of shelling, waiting desperately for the world leaders to urge Turkey to end the curfews.
As the World marks the 2015 International Day Against Death Penalty, Defend International announces the launch of the campaign “Towards Abolition of Death Sentence and Enhanced Protection of Human Rights in Iran” to call on the Iranian authorities to review hanging and the human rights situation in light of International Human Rights Law. “On today’s World Day Against the Death Penalty, we urge the Iranian authorities to adopt a complete ban on public hangings and all forms of violence against everybody,” said Dr. Widad, co-founder of Defend International.
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.