I 700 uger har mødre og familier til forsvundne under det tyrkiske militærdiktatur protesteret hver eneste lørdag kl. 12 på Galatasaray-torvet i Istanbul, en af byens travleste pladser. De har stået der med billeder af hundredvis af forsvundne med krav om at de skal findes og bringes retfærdighed.
Rigtig mange modstandere af militærdiktaturet forsvandt sporløst efter at være pågrebet af sikkerhedsstyrker og mens de var i deres varetægt. Og siden er intet sluppet ud om deres skæbne.
Skiftende myndigheder har lige siden afvist at give information om de forsvundne, eller taget skridt til undersøgelse eller retsforfølgelse af dem, der har fået dem til at forsvinde.
Lørdagsmødrene og deres krav støttes af en lang række menneskerettighedsorganisationer. Deres protest er nu den længste fredelige protestaktion nogensinde i Tyrkiet.
Deres mangeårige og nu 700 uger lange protest nyder bred støtte og markeres også i mange lande udenfor Tyrkiet.
Lørdagsmødrene har i den forbindelse udsendt følgende udtalelse, som her gengives på engelsk:
We Will Not Forget, We Will Not Forgive, We Will Never Give Up
As the families of the disappeared, who were taken into detention by security forces followed by a denial of their existence by official authorities and a failure to receive any information as to their whereabouts, and the human rights defenders who support them; our peaceful resistance, initiated with the demand to “Find the disappeared and bring justice” has today reached its 700th week.
For 700 weeks, at 12 noon every Saturday, we have met at Galatasaray Square, one of the busiest locations in Istanbul, carrying the photographs of hundreds of our people who were forcibly disappeared in detention, to continue the action of the Saturday Mothers, longest-lasting peaceful protest in the history of Turkey.
For 700 weeks, we have demanded to learn what happened to our people who were detained by the security forces, who then rejected their existence; and have asked for those who forcibly disappeared them to be tried and sentenced via an impartial and independent judiciary process.
However, the state, until now, has not enacted a system of justice which would reveal the fate of the forcibly disappeared, and would try and properly sentence those who disappeared them.
The absence of judicial institutions that would limit the power of the state and protect the rights and freedoms of citizens has meant that our demands have not been met, and our rights to know the truth and access to justice have been violated.
Our demands are clear:
– Reveal the fate of the forcibly disappeared.
– End impunity for the perpetrators of the crime of enforced disappearance; implement criminal justice.
– Allow no one to be forcibly disappeared ever again.
– Turkey must sign, ratify and implement the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance prepared by the United Nations – a convention it has abstained from signing!
These demands we have voiced at Galatasaray for 700 weeks are our legitimate rights based on the fundamental values of a democratic society, on Turkey’s constitutional norms and international legal rules.
The greatest obstacle before the realization of our demands is the absence in Turkey of the necessary political will that is determined to meet these demands. The policies of the ruling powers that aim to weaken judicial independence and the rule of law make it impossible for us to reach truth and justice.
On the occasion of our 700th week, we would once again like to remind all that enforced disappearance is a crime against humanity. Crimes against humanity do not only harm the victims and the relatives of the victims, they also harm all members of the family of humanity. To struggle against impunity for these crimes which target the values of humanity is part of the responsibility of being human.
On the occasion of our 700th week we once again call upon the international community to display sensitivity regarding the crimes of enforced disappearance committed until the year 2001 in Turkey, all of which have been met with impunity until the present day.
In order not to let this crime that targets human dignity to go unpunished, we invite everyone to assume the responsibility of overcoming indifference to the injustice we are experiencing.
On the occasion of our 700th week we once again declare:
In the name of truth, in the name of justice, in the name of conscience and human dignity, we who carry out the struggle against enforced disappearances will not give up our struggle.
We will not forget our forcibly disappeared loved ones!
We will not forgive those who disappeared our loved ones in detention, and those who continue to protect them!
We will never give up our search for our children and loved ones who were forcibly disappeared!
Human Rights Association
Commission Against Enforced Disappearances Under Custody
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KPnet 25. august 2018