Turkey: Greenpeace activists' freedom restricted while climate criminals go unpunished

Press release - 6 September, 2005
A Turkish court today rejected an application for the removal of the bail conditions placed on 21 Greenpeace activists who peacefully protested at the state-owned Can coal power plant against the Government's dangerous energy policy on August 29th.

The ruling particularly affects five foreign activists who are notallowed to return to their home countries for an indefinite time.Although no charges have yet been brought, this decision impacts onboth their professional and personal lives.

"The activists took non-violent action to expose a major cause ofclimate change that threatens to affect us all. The response from theTurkish authorities has been to restrict their freedom of movementbefore a charge has even been brought. The decision by the court tokeep these restrictions in place is a significant blow to Turkey'sclaim to be a progressive and fair society," said Paul Horsman ofGreenpeace International.

As a result of the ruling, international pressure is expected to focuson Turkish embassies and the Turkish Government itself, making the casethat these restrictions are wholly unnecessary and are undermining thereputation of Turkey as an open and progressive part of theinternational community.

Letters from Greenpeace offices worldwide have already been sent totheir respective Turkish embassies demanding the immediate removal ofthese bail conditions, with supporters from across the Greenpeace worldalso expected to voice their protest.

Greenpeace lawyers submitted the application yesterday arguing that:

- The bail conditions have no precedent in cases of environmental protest

- The conditions severely affect the lives of those in question

- In view of the fact that no volunteer involved in a Greenpeace actionhas ever failed to attend a court date, there is no evidence toindicate that such restrictions are necessary

- The conditions are disproportionate compared to the actions of those arrested

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation, which usesnon-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmentalproblems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peacefulfuture.

Other contacts: Paul Horsman, Greenpeace International spokesperson, + 90538 660 1843 Cecilia Goin, Greenpeace International media officer, + 31 6 212 96 908

Exp. contact date: 2005-09-18 00:00:00