Information Note on Repression, Obstacles, and Challenges Faced by Human Rights Defenders in Turkey (September 1 – December 31, 2021) has been released.
This information note was drafted by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (HRFT) in order to bring the escalating repression, obstacles and challenges faced by human rights defenders in Turkey into view and to reinforce solidarity with human rights defenders. Information collected by Regional Solidarity and Coordination Groups, established to identify repression and challenges faced by human rights defenders in Adana, Ankara, Diyarbakır, İstanbul, İzmir, Van and in nearby cities with an eye to enhance solidarity with defenders, forms the basis of the information note. It should nevertheless be noted that repression and challenges faced by human rights defenders in Turkey might be more baffling than those stated in this information note.
Human rights defenders and civil society actors in Turkey face repression, obstacles and challenges on the grounds of their works undertaken to prevent human rights violations and to materialize human rights as well as the fact that they bring human rights violations into view while carrying out activities to stop authorities’ policies and practices against human rights. These obstacles emerge through such methods as judicial harassment, administrative harassment, threats, targeting and reprisals, bans on peaceful assemblies and demonstrations and will briefly be explained under these titles respectively.
When the total sum is taken into account, 1220  human rights defenders were targeted by at least one or more than one interventions including judicial harassment, administrative harassment, threats and reprisals between 1 September 2021 and 31 December 2021.
 HRFT is an internationally recognized civil society organization that has been offering treatment and rehabilitation services for those subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment along with their families, and has been working to prevent human rights violations most notably torture since 1990.
 The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted the UN General Assembly on 9 April 1998, lists the constituents of the concept of human rights defender as individuals, groups and organizations and the Regional Solidarity and Cooperation Groups collect their data based on the criteria incorporated in the said document.
 This study was drafted within the scope of the project “A Bottom-up Approach for Protecting and Supporting Civil Human Rights Actors in Post-Pandemic Turkey” conducted by HRFT in cooperation with the Human Rights Association (İHD), International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and World Organization against Torture (OMCT) and supported by the European Union.
 The data were collected by Regional Solidarity and Cooperation Groups formed within the scope of the project. The data were obtained in interviews conducted by group members with concerned defenders, families and lawyers of defenders, through limited media reviews, as well as interviews with other organizations and individuals working in the field of human rights in related cities.
 Although the Documentation Center at the HRFT adopts the definition for the human rights defenders referred to in footnote 1, data on rights defenders may vary as the violations cited in “Annual Human Rights Reports” are classified under different rights categories.