14 Jan, 2014 – The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) had their offices raided by Turkish anti-terrorism police in Kilis. The raids were conducted without any search warrants and further, by agencies that were not appropriate for any investigations.
According to the IHH Secretary General, Yasar Kurtluay, the raids were conducted because of an interest in a specific individual; however he made clear that the police went far beyond any legitimate action by targeting the whole office of the organisation.
Much of the claims that have been levelled against IHH have been in relation to their relief work in Syria, and based on attempts by reactionary elements within Turkish society to draw false links with al-Qaeda.
Claims that IHH’s relief work is somehow linked to al-Qaeda activity in the region is based on no evidence, and despite calls for such evidence to be supplied none has been forthcoming save for innuendo or baseless rumour.
CAGE condemns the use of unsubstantiated allegations of a link to al-Qaeda in order to discredit the work of an internationally renowned and effective humanitarian organisation. This is a well worn tactic used to damage both individuals and organisations for nefarious ends.
In this instance, the track record of IHH speaks for itself and we call on all humanitarian agencies to denounce these gross violations of human rights, particularly given the role IHH has played in protecting the countless victims of the atrocities in Syria.
1. CAGE is an independent advocacy group that works to empower communities affected by the war on terror and to highlight abuses of prisoners’ rights
Amandla Thomas-Johnson Tel: +44(0)7414777094
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)