It’s day 2 at the European Social Forum in Istanbul and more crowds seem to find their way to the park and taking part in actions. People are passing through all the stalls and asking information on the campaigns and actions.
Amnesty staff and volunteers have been joining the seminars and encouraging people to sign our many actions on Demand Dignity, Discrimination, Human Rights Defenders, ending the Gaza blockade and refugees in Turkey.
We are very happy to have with us Halil Savda, conscientious objector for whom Amnesty has been campaigning in order to stop his unfair prosecution by the Turkish authorities.
Amnesty’s worldwide campaigns to end human rights violations are very important. Its participation in the ESF in Istanbul is particularly important for putting human rights violations into the agenda.
AI has been working for conscientious objection to be recognised as a human right in Turkey and they have always supported the conscientious objectors in this country and campaigned to end their harassment.
They are also campaigning for the abolition of article 318 which criminalises “alienating people from the military service”. Many COs, including me, have been prosecuted under this article and Amnesty’s campaign for 318 pushes for a stop of my conviction.
I am really proud to participate in this forum with Amnesty.
And we are very proud to have him here as well!
This afternoon has surely been quite eventful!!
We organised a football game for the World Cup/ Human Rights Defenders campaign; the teams were Amnesty staff and volunteers, Halil Savda, people we met at the stalls and wanted to participate, friends of the volunteers, even three small children with quite impressive football skills! We were all wearing the Amnesty World Cup jerseys and each player represented a Human Rights Defender. The referee was quite diligent with the yellow and red cards but the game was met with excitement and was cheered by many people who were stopping as they were passing by.
Amnesty Turkey had the idea for an Israel blockade action which is going to take place tomorrow, so the rest of the afternoon staff and volunteers designed and help to make a big banner with Amnesty candles.
………to be continued!