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Human rights groups become new target of Ankara’s crackdown

The arrest of six prominent human rights activists in Turkey on terrorism-related charges marks a new phase in the suppression campaign of the Erdogan regime.
Amnesty International Belgium's Director Philippe Hensmans poses in a cage in front of the Turkish embassy in Brussels to protest against the detention of his Turkish counterpart Idil Eser, Belgium, July 10, 2017.  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX3ATNW

The Turkish government’s massive crackdown since last year’s attempted coup has targeted not only the putschists, but also the media, Kurdish politicians, as well as leftist, liberal and conservative oppositionists. The latest developments in this crackdown show that the regime is proceeding fast to the lowest point on its path to autocracy.

One particularly alarming omen is the arrest of six human rights activists, including Amnesty International’s Turkey director, following a July 5 police raid on a gathering of civic activists on an Istanbul island. The move indicates that Ankara’s suppression campaign has reached a new phase, turning to local and international human rights groups and civic society.

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