Turkey Detains Ill Armenian Human Rights Activist

10/10/2019 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – On October 8, 2019, Turkish police raided the home of and detained Armenian human rights activist Arlet Natali-Azazyan. She was released from police custody the following afternoon, on October 9th. Arlet is currently undergoing chemotherapy.

Arlet was arrested after sharing a photo on Twitter of the family of Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, from the year 1988. The photo’s caption connected the family with Kurds in Antayla. On Monday, she received a phone call from law enforcement saying that a compliant was made regarding the social media post and that she will soon be interrogated based on terror charges.

“I was just called by the law enforcement agency,” she tweeted. “If I am not checked in by a hospital by my doctor tomorrow, I will go to the police to give a testimony.”

“(Arlet) was detained for sharing social media upon the compliant of Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and his family. Since the Alanya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office could not be reached, she will spend the night at the police station. I am following. Get well soon,” tweeted CHP parliamentarian member, Sezgin Tanrikulu.

“She spent the night in custody, handcuffed, waiting!” tweeted HDP parliamentarian member, Omer Faruk. “There is no justice in Turkey.”

Photos of Arlet following her release show the physical difficulty of her detainment while suffering from illness. An outpouring of support on social media contain many get well wishes for her health. Although she is now released, the judicial process is ongoing.

As a human rights activist, Arlet is vocal about the government’s purging of various demographic groups from Turkish society. She is known for sharing historical photos on her social media. As an Armenian, Arlet’s ancestors were the victims of Turkish genocide against religious minorities. Today, Armenians are regularly discriminated against by the authorities and the target of hate attacks.

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