Protest against police raid on IHD in Amed

Activists and NGOs protested the police raid on the Human Rights Association (IHD) office in Amed on Thursday. An official complaint has been made about the judge who issued the search warrant at the IHD Amed office.

Non-governmental organizations in Amed (Diyarbakır) protested the police raid on Thursday on the Human Rights Association (IHD) office in front of a courthouse. Amed Medical Chamber, Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV), Lawyers Association for Freedom (ÖHD), unions affiliated with the Confederation of Public Labourer’s Unions (KESK), Amed Bar Association and representatives of several other non-governmental organizations attended the protest.


IHD Amed Office head Abdullah Zeytun said that police raided the office as part of an investigation carried out by the Adıyaman Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against Ferhat Berkpınar, a board member of the association. Zeytun stated that Berkpınar was taken into custody following a decision of the Diyarbakır 4th Criminal Court of Peace and that the judges regarded the association’s office as Berkpınar's “workplace”. “This is a malicious intent that aims to criminalize human rights activities. In accordance with the relevant provisions of the code of criminal procedure (CMK), only the body, home, workplace and car of a person can be searched during an investigation. Other than these, issuing a search warrant is a clear violation of the law. The IHD Amed office, where he carries out volunteer activities, is not Berkpınar's personal workplace. Berkpınar carries out voluntary human rights activities in our office. Police could have learnt the workplace information of our board members through the national judiciary informatics system (UYAP). Therefore, we consider the search warrant against our association as an effort to criminalize our struggle for rights, which we have been continuing for years,” Zeytun said.


Zeytun pointed out that although there was a confidentiality order in the investigation, the footage and images of the police raid on the association were released by some media outlets as ‘part of a perception operation’. “The search carried out at the desk of our employee and in many other rooms at the entrance of our office is a clear indication of arbitrariness. It is not possible to accept this search method, which goes even beyond the limit of a legally controversial judicial decision. Moreover, the documents and some electronic devices were confiscated, and our objections to the search and confiscation were not recorded by law enforcement officials. The information and images are used by the media outlets to target our association, which is contrary to the confidentiality order,” Zeytun noted.


“We have submitted criminal complaints against the search warrant and its application to the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) about the Criminal Court of Peace which issued the search warrant and confiscations, and to the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office about the law enforcement officers who carried out the unlawful search. We know the purpose of the search and confiscation decision. This is part of a plan to increase the judicial pressure on human rights activities, the IHD managers and rights defenders,” Zeytun said.


TMMOB Secretary Doğan Hatun maintained that the IHD has been fighting for rights for 35 years. “The association’s heads have been murdered, their members have been tortured in detention and have become victims while fighting for rights.”

Hatun emphasized that no official can storm an IHD office by treating it as a “workplace”. “The police raid was carried out on purpose. A crime has been committed. Those who authorized the breaking of the office door have committed a crime. The offices of public institutions cannot be raided arbitrarily,” Hatun said. Noting that the IHD is an association that should be honoured and cherished, Hatun said that "the office of the IHD is our office. You will not be able to break these doors again. We call on the relevant authorities; public institutions and associations fighting for human rights are the places that you should protect more than anything else. You will not get results from such practices. The IHD is the hope of the people. It is the hope of all oppressed peoples”.