Turkey police detain Amnesty director and 12 other rights activists


Turkish police have detained 12 people including Turkey's Director of human rights group Amnesty International.

"We are profoundly disturbed and outraged that some of Turkey's leading human rights defenders, including the Director of Amnesty International Turkey should have been detained so blatantly without cause".

The police action "is a grotesque abuse of power and highlights the precarious situation facing human rights activists in the country", said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's Secretary General.

Turkey remains under a state of emergency following the coup with thousands arrested in raids by security forces.

There is no immediate indication of what the rights activists have been accused of.

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The activists' whereabouts were yet not known.

"Eser, and those detained with her, must be immediately and unconditionally released, " Amnesty said.

A month ago, police arrested the chair of Amnesty International in Turkey on suspicion he was linked to Gülen.

The EU's enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn, said the arrests would form part of his discussions in Ankara this week.

The arrests are the latest salvo in a crackdown on opposition politicians, journalists and activists in Turkey that has seen an estimated 50,000 people arrested and more than 140,000 dismissed or suspended from their jobs. The organization said it was proof "how arbitrary [the government] has become".