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Joint Letter by the Human Rights Advocates on the Release of Political Prisoners in Turkey’s Jails

PROMINENT GROUP OF 205 SIGNATORIES CONSISTING OF ACADEMICS, JURISTS, JOURNALISTS, POLITICIANS, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS CALL ON TURKEY TO URGENTLY RELEASE POLITICAL PRISONERS IN THE MIDST OF PANDEMIC.

The notoriously overcrowded prisons in Turkey pose serious health threats to inmates during the coronavirus pandemic. The justice reform law passed by the Turkish Parliament that permanently released thousands of prisoners excluded inmates serving time for political crimes, so-called “terrorism.” As many prominent human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, acknowledged, those inmates are being held in pretrial detention or sentenced without evidence that they committed violent acts, incited violence, or provided logistical help to outlawed armed groups and their lives are at risk. As indicated in the complaints by the written and oral statements of their families, the inmates’ rights to life – which is among the most basic and universal human rights and is protected by the 10th amendment of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey and the article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) – are under clear, serious, and near threat. We are deeply concerned about the escalation of health issues of aforesaid prisoners since cancer and other severe illnesses have increased in Turkish jails. The undersigned jurists, academics, human rights activists, journalists, and politicians, who are concerned with human rights issues, call on the Turkish authorities to urgently release the political prisoners and the prisoners of conscience in Turkish jails before the risk of mass death hits.

SIGNATORIES FROM JURISTS, ACADEMICS, POLITICIANS, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, AND JOURNALISTS

1- Mike O’neal, Attorney, O’neal Consulting, Kansas
2- Dr. James C. Juhnke, Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas
3- Rimsie McConiga, Journalist, Kansas 4- Laurie Dipadova-stocks, Park University
5- Tom Nanney, Visiting Associate Professor University of Missouri/Kansas City School of Law
6- Marcella Sirhandi, Emeritus Professor, Oklahoma State University
7- Doris Chang, Professor of History
8- Prof. Eve Levin, University of Kansas
9- Jude Huntz, Professor of Philosophy, Devry University,
10- Mary Gibson McCoy, Attorney, Missouri
11- Delores Chambers, Professor, Kansas State University,
12- Edgar Chambers, Professor, Kansas State University,
13- Deb Woodard, UMKC Associate Teaching Professor Emerita, Missouri
14- Sofia Khan, MD, Human right activist, founder of K.C. for Refugees, Kansas
15- Gulnar Eziz, Harvard University, MA
16- Stephanie Sabato, Professor Emerita, JCCC, Kansas
17- Judy Ancel, UMKC professor Emerita, Missouri
18- Vince Wetta, State Representative, Kansas
19- Arbana Xharra, Journalist, NY
20- Shruti Mukherjee, Scholar, Stony Brook Univ, NY
21- Steve Sunderland, Ph.D., Director of Cancer Justice Network
22- Gretchen Eick, Ph.D., Professor of History, Emerita, Friends University, Wichita, Kansas Visiting Professor, University of Dzemal Bijedic, Mostar, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
23- Kai Breaux, Scholar, Stony Brook Univ, NY
24- Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar / AEI, USA
25- Lucinda White, Attorney, Kansas
26- Valerie Moyer, Scholar, Stony Brook Univ, NY
27- Carlos Mondlane, Judge, Mozambique
28 – Former Canadian Senator Nancy Ruth.
29- Ruth Schowalter, Lecturer / Georgia Tech Language Institute, GA
30- Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Professor, Writer, Kansas Poet Laureate, Kansas
31- Scott Thumma, Professor of Sociology of Religion Director, D.Min. Program Director, Hartford Institute for Religion Research, CT
32- Kari O’rourke, Human Rights Activist, Missouri
33- Wendi Lynn See, Attorney, South Carolina
34- Hakan Acar, LLB, LLM, CPLLM, Ph.D. Barrister and Solicitor Law Society of Ontario, Canada
35- Beth Murano, Attorney, Missouri
36- Curtis Smith, Professor Emerita, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas
37- Sheila Sonnenschein, Human Rights Activist, Community Volunteer, Kansas,
38- Rev. Jennifer Bryan, Human Rights Activist, Kansas
39- Martin Okpareke, Community Outreach and Refugee Family Strengthening Program Manager, Jewish Vocational Services, Missouri
40- Sister Celia Deutsch, Human Rights Activist and Interfaith Coordinator of Our Lady of Refuge Church, New York
41- Sally Hipscher, Human Rights Activist and Chair of Interfaith Coalition of Brooklyn, New York
42- Rabbi Heidi Hoover, Rabbi, Beth Shalom v’Emeth, Brooklyn- NY
43- Margaret Rausch, Ph.D., Independent Scholar, and Freelance Editor and Translator, Kansas
44- Kelly Hansen, Chaplain, Human Rights activist, Missouri
45- Delores Jankovich, Social Worker, Human Rights activist, Missouri
46- The Honorable Judy Sgro, Member of Parliament, Canada
47- Anca Dumitrescu Jelea, Lawyer, JAD Law, CANADA
48- Syndey Carlin, State Representative, Kansas,
49- Lebert Shultz, Attorney at Law, Sheridan at Overland Park, Kansas
50- Dennis Hill, Teacher, Human Rights Activist, Missouri
51- Sophia Pandya, Professor of Religious Studies, Department Chair, California State University at Long Beach, California
52- Kathleen Kirby, Human right activist, and Teacher New Hampshire
53- Josh Hoops, Associate Professor at William Jewell College, Missouri
54- Ed Chasteen, Professor, President HateBusters, Missouri
55- Zoey Shu-Yi Chu, Scholar, Stony Brook University, NY
56- Calvin Hayden, Johnson County Sheriff – Johnson County, KS
57- Shannon S Shaw, lecturer, Texas State University, TX
58- Nance Davies, Artist, Scholar at Massachusetts College of Art and Design
59- Anne Conger, Human Rights Activist, a student in Union Theological Seminary, NY
60- Ramou Colley, Executive Director, the Rahma Project, Sussex, ENGLAND
61- Marina Colorado, News Journalist, France 24 Espanol, Colombia
62- Mario Goico, Retired State Representative, Kansas
63- Sherry Dean Rovelo, Ph.D. Professor, Speech Communication Richland College, Dallas, TX
64- Dr. Ruben L.F. Habito/Professor of World Religions and Spirituality / Director of Spiritual Formation / SMU (South Methodist University) / Texas
65- Rosanne Marie Oates, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
66- Elena Chung, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
67- Cecilia McLaren, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
68- Yasmine Garay, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
69- Jodie Adams Kirshner, Research Professor, New York University, NY
70- Corliss Jacobs, Human Rights Activist, Vice President of Board, Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, Kansas
71- Melissa Stiehler, Human Rights Activist, Vice President of Board, Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, Kansas
72- Peggy Neal, Melissa Stiehler, Human Rights Activist, Board Member, Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, Kansas
73- Clara Irazabal, Professor, Director, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri
74- Marc Garcelon, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri
75- Joseph D Jacobs, Human Rights Activist, Missouri
76- G. Dale Mathey, Human Rights Activist, Board Member, Cross Border Network for Justice and Solidarity, Kansas
77- Maeve Cummings, Professor, Pittsburg State University, Kansas
78- Lynne Vanahill, Director of International Student Support Services, Kansas
79- Theresa Torres, Professor, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri
80- Ronald A. Slepitza, President, Avila University, Missouri
81-Michael Poage, Human rights Activist, Author, Kansas
82- Manuela Gonzalez-Bueno, Professor, University of Kansas, Kansas
83- Gail Finney, State Representative, Kansas
84- Tyler A. Shipley, Ph.D. Professor of Culture, Society, and Commerce, Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, CANADA
85- Morgan Phillips, City Editor of TulsaPeople Magazine, Oklahoma
86- Dr. Catherine Webster, Dean of Liberal Arts College, University of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma
87- Patrick Raglow, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Central Oklahoma, Oklahoma
88- Christopher Wright, Scholar / Montana State University, MONTANA
89- Lauren Petersen, Esq, immigration attorney, CT
90- Parvez Mohsin, Director of Nashville International Center for Empowerment, Nashville TN
91- Dr. Ron Massier, Emeritus Professor, Nashville TN
92- Rev. Ellen Sims, pastor, Mobile, AL
93- Kristen James, Chief Development Officer(Non-profit Leader), 29 Acres, TX
94- Styliani Markaki Attorney, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
95- Amanda Roche, Artist, Human Rights Activist, Nashville TN
96- Ellen Gilbert, Executive Director, Global Education Center, Nashville TN
97- Reverend (Rev.) Debra Loudin-McCann, TX
98- John O’Neil, Associate Superintendent, Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Newark
99- Nelda K. Latham, Mathematics Professor, Bergen Community College, NJ
100- Ruth Feigenbaum, Mathematics Professor, Bergen Community College, NJ
101- Valeria Correa, Human Rights Activist, Rutgers University, NJ
102- Asma Bawla, Human Rights Activist, New York University, NY
103- Edward E. Goode, Human Rights Activist, Missouri
104- Caroline Davies, Associate Professor, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri
105- Stu Shafer, Professor, Johnson County Community College, Kansas
106- Akash Patel, Human Rights Activist, Founder of Happy World Foundation Inc., Oklahoma
107- Shona Tritt, Ph.D., Clinical psychologist, Lecturer, University of Toronto Scarborough Campus
108- Lisa Wolfe, Professor, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma
109- Rev. Dr. Richard Nelson, Scholar, Nashville TN
110- Honorable Phil Ramos Deputy Majority Leader. New York State Assemblyman, Brentwood NY-Honorable
111- Bob Sweney Former New York State Assemblyman, Lindenhurst, NY
112- Honorable Michelle Schimel, Former New York State Assemblywoman, Port Washington, NY
113- Tom Goodhue Executive Director Emeritus, Long Island Council of Churches, New York, NY
114- Rabbi Steven Moss, Chair Emeritus, Suffolk County Human Rights Commission, Oakdale, NY
115- Rev. William F. Brisotti Pastor, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, Wyandanch NY
116- Reverend JoAnn Barrett, The founder of Gathering of Light Interspiritual Fellowship. Huntington, NY Co-Chair, Suffolk County Anti-Bias Task Force, NY
117- Rev. Dr. Walter H. Wagner, Ph.D. Professor, Pastor and Author, Bethlehem, PA
118- Richard Koubek, Ph.D. Community Outreach Coordinator, Long Island Jobs with Justice, Suffolk County NY
119- Thomas Petriano, Ph.D. Professor of Religious Studies, St Joseph’s College Patchogue NY
120- Latifa Woodhouse and Colin Woodhouse Co-Chairs Shared Humanity of USA, New York
121- Soh Young Lee-Segredo, Former Nassau County Human Rights Commissioner, NY Multicultural Council of NY
122- Edward Andrew, Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5s 3G3, Canada. Ed Andrew
123-Catherine Green, Professor, Missouri
124- Peter Milliken, Former Canadian Member of Parliament and the Speaker of Canadian Parliament from 2001 to 2010.
125- David Kilgour, Former Member of Parliament (M.P.) and Secretary of State. Canada
126- Ornela Bego, Lawyer, TX
127- Karman Kurban, Assistant Professor, North American University
128- Lisa DiCarlo, Professor & Human Right activist, Brown University, Rhode Island
129- Aesetou Hydara, Human Rights Activist, New York University
130- Jihad Elgouz, Human Rights Activist, New York University
131- Jenna Elshahawi, Human Rights Activist, Rutgers University
132- Miguel Isidoro, Human Rights Activist, Pace University
133- Benjamin S. Yost, Professor of Philosophy, Adjunct, Cornell University
134- Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Professor of History and Religion, Brown University
135- Johan Heymans, Lawyer, Belgium
136- Rev. Don Cottrill, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
137- Robert Mann, Professor, Manship Chair, Louisiana
138- Vicki Dauterive, Human Rights Activist, Together Baton Rouge, Louisiana
139-Jane Chandler, Professor, Louisiana
140- Sissy Stephans, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
141-Dauda Sessay, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana Organization for Refugees and Immigrants, Louisiana
142-Rev. Michael Habert, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
143-Alcibiades P. Tsolakis, Professor and Dean, College of Art and Design, Louisiana State University, Louisiana
144-Roxanne Stoehr, Professor, Southeastern Louisiana University, Louisiana
145-Sonny Marchbanks, Political Consultant, Mars De Banques, Louisiana
146-Vicki Brooks, Human Rights Activist, Together Baton Rouge, Louisiana
147-Al Gensler, Retired, Urban Development Director, City of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
148-Marilyn Gensler, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
149-Dawud Sesay, Human Rights Activist, Louisiana
150-Dr. Richard Webb, Professor, and Dean Emeritus, Southern University Baton Rouge, Louisiana
151-Christopher Gerdes, Professor of History, North American University, TX
152- Sherly Sullivan, Attorney, Oklahoma
153- Prof. Amy Remensnyder, Professor of History, Brown University
154- Laura Faria-Tancinco, Human Rights Activist, Rhode Island College
155- Sevdenur Cizginer, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Brown University
156- Mohammad Niamat Elahee Ph.D., Professor, Dept. of International Business, Quinnipiac University, CT
157- Naoko Shibusawa, Associate Professor of History, Brown University, RI
158- Bathsheba Demuth, Assistant Professor of Environment and Society & History, Brown University, RI
159- Lopita Nath, Ph.D., Professor, University of the Incarnate Word, TX
160-Martha Ann Kirk, Ph.D., Professor of Humanities, University of the Incarnate Word, TX
161-Armen Babajanian, Executive Director at World Affairs Council of San Antonio, TX
162-Simran Jeet Singh, Ph.D., Visiting Professor, Union Seminary, NY
163-Larry Hufford, Ph.D., Professor, St. Mary’s University, TX
164-Pastor Paul Ziese, Human Rights Activist, TX
165-John Comer, Professor Emeritus, Chair of Political Science Department, University of Nebraska Lincoln, Nebraska
166-Nancy Comer, Retired Teacher, Lincoln Public Schools, Vice Pres of Friendship Force, Lincoln, NE
167-Professor Thomas Dinapoli, Languages DepartmentLouisiana State University, Louisiana
168- Dr. Ahmet Sanic, Former Vice President Alatoo-International University, United Kingdom
169- Seyit Kaya, Information Communication Technology, Educator, United Kingdom
170- Rev. James C. Harrington, Human Rights Activist, Texas
171 Dr. Ramin Ahmadoghlu, Researcher, Emiry University, Georgia
172- Omer Kuru, Professor, University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom
173- Ali Yurtsever, Human Rights Activist and Executive Director, İslamic Society of Midwest, Illinois
174- Isaac Gold, Executive Director, Huddled Masses, Illinois
175- Mehmet Sayın, Professor, Texas
176- Kamaruddin Mohd Yusoff, Professor, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
177- Robert Adan Williams, Educator, California
178- Mehmet Karadayi, Ph.D., Educator, Colombia
179- Salih, Professor, Georgia
180- Avery Rollins, Retired FBI Agent, Mississippi
181- Catherine Freis, Emerita Professor of Greek and Roman Studies at Millsaps College, Mississippi
182- Richard Freis, Emeritus Professor of Greek and Roman Studies at Millsaps College, Mississippi
183- Jeremy Tobin, Priest and Human Rights Activist, Mississippi
184- Adele Crudden, Professor, Mississippi
185- Robert McElvaine, Professor of History at Millsaps College, Mississippi
186- Joan Mylroie, Retired Faculty at Mississippi State University, Mississippi
187- Steve Smith, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Millsaps College, Mississippi
188- Rims Barber, Mississippi Human Services Coalition, Mississippi
189- Judy Barber, Mississippi Human Services Coalition, Mississippi
190- James Bowley, Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at Millsaps College, Mississippi
191- Dr. Mark McLain, M.D., Mississippi
192- Sen. Hillman Frazier, Mississippi State Senator, Mississippi
193- Dr. David Breaux, Former Dean, College of Arts and Sciences at Delta State University, Mississippi
194- Ali Dag, Associate Professor, Creighton University, Nebraska,
195- Ferhat Ozturk, Ph.D., Biomedical Science Teacher, Texas
196- Thomas Dinapoli, Professor, Louisiana State University, Louisiana
197- Adv. Ashraf Muhammed, Former Chairman of Western Cape and Member of National Association of Democratic Lawyers(NADEL), Cape Town, South Africa
198- Amina Frense, Council Member of South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) and Chairperson at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, Johannesburg, South Africa
199- Kisten Govender, Elected Member of South African Legal Practice Council, Durban, South Africa
200- Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, Founder of Gandhi Development Trust, Durban, South Africa
201- Judy Sandison, Founder Member of South African National Editor’s Forum (SANEF), Former Provincial Editor of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), Durban, South Africa
202- Dr. Huseyin DURU, Professor, Texas
203- Dr. Havva Simsek, Professor, United Kingdom
204-Howard Gordon, Presbyterian Minister, Activist, Arkansas
205-Mehmet Halidun, Assistant Professor, Arkansas Tech University, Arkansas

 

 

 

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