Wednesday, January 27, 2021

University Students in Turkey "tear-gassed and beaten by police at their school’s Pride march" - sign Amnesty International's Letter of Protest to free them now!

January, 2021. It's crazy that peacefully gathering to support LGBTQ rights, to support LGBTQ people, can still result in this kind of state violence and threat. 

Melike Balkan and Özgür Gür (pictured in the photo above), along with 17 others, are facing up to three years in prison for organizing their campus pride back in May 2019. Here’s what Özgür told Amnesty International about why this matters to him:

“Pride has an extraordinary value. If you look at the history of Pride, we see it in Stonewall, Istanbul Pride, in all Prides. It is a struggle against violence, against hate crimes, all over the world. Pride is a moment where you can express the things you experience in your life; you can be yourself. That’s why they are so important.”

Amnesty International explains the power of their letter writing campaign:

Amnesty has chosen both Melike and Özgür as activists to spotlight in our annual Write for Rights campaign, an international letter-writing campaign where people like you send hundreds of thousands of letters to world leaders, with the goal of freeing prisoners of conscience and protecting human right defenders under attack.

Please consider joining me to raise your voice about this – and click here to send a letter to the Ambassador of Turkey demanding the charges against Melike, Özgür, and the others be dropped.

You can even send a message of solidarity to Melike, Özgür, and their fellow LGBTQ Pride organizers facing this trial and threat of prison.

Thanks, and stay safe.
The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

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