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That authoritarian regimes intimidate, threaten or even carry out (or commission) assassinations against critical voices is no secret.

Silencing opposition or disagreeable figures such as journalists, human rights activists is of immense importance to autocrats and dictators for whom they are a thorn in the flesh. They are a threat to the arbitrariness of these rulers. The rulers have various apparatuses at their disposal to meet their aspirations in this regard.

One of these instruments, which the Turkish state implements today, is the mass wave of arrests, which is mainly directed at the Gülen movement.

Since 2014, the Turkish state apparatus has been targeting the Gülen movement and its sympathizers. One of the main tools used by the Turkish security authorities and judiciary is the daily waves of arbitrary arrests of people accused of being inspired by Gülen.

In total, more than 6,140 waves of mass arrests were carried out between 2014 and 2022, and more than 140,000 people were detained. On average, up to 60 people are detained every day in at least three operations.

In addition, we observe that more and more people are arrested for humanitarian aid. For example, on October 18, 2022, a new stage of unlawful arrests was initiated against 704 people -men, women, young and old- on the grounds that they were “trying to help the families of those in prison or released from prison”. This has unfortunately been the case for more than 3 years regarding the Gülen movement.

In our HRDfactsheet we have summarized facts and figures why this is to be judged as a crime against humanity and made various recommendations to remedy these human rights violations.