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Turkish LGBTI activist released from prison - but his case continues

He was arrested last week

Turkish LGBTI activist released from prison - but his case continues
Ali Erol continues to face scrutiny and danger. | Photo: Kaos GL

Ali Erol, a Turkish LGBTI human rights activist, was arrested Friday (2 February) by authorities. They arrested him in the home he shares with his partner in Ankara.

Erol founded Kaos GL, Turkey’s first LGBT organization.

The reasoning for his arrest remains unclear. However, Kaos GL colleagues said authorities had warrants for Erol’s social media.

However, despite Erol’s release from detention, his cases continues.

According to a report from OutRight Action International, the case is still under judicial review. Erol will also have to periodically appear before the police. Furthermore, they also banned him from leaving the country.

Yildiz Tar, the Media and Communications Coordinator at Kaos GL, said this secrecy is common in Turkey.

‘First they detain, ask questions about something, then they prepare the charges and we can only learn it in trial or just before the trial,’ Tar said.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, but anti-LGBTI actions have been on the rise.

A deteriorating situation

In November, Ankara banned all future LGBTI events.

This, combined with Erol’s arrest, ‘speaks to the deteriorating situation faced by LGBTIQ, and all, human rights defenders in Turkey,’ said Jessica Stern, Executive Director at OutRight Action International.

‘The blanket ban on LGBTIQ events already trampled on the rights to assembly, now even the rights to express oneself freely is being punished. The Turkish government needs to stop violating the human rights of its citizens immediately.’

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