Onur Hamzaoglu, a professor of epidemiology, member of the Academics for Peace initiative, and the cospokesperson of the Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK) was detained on February 9, 2018 on a warrant issued by Ankara’s Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. The justification for the arrest was a press release issued by the HDK on January 26 that condemned Turkey’s operation in Afrin and Syria and called for peace and democracy. On February 16, 2018, Hamzaoglu was charged and refused bail for allegedly "making terrorist propaganda on social media." He remains in prison, awaiting his first trial, which is scheduled for July 19, 2018.
We believe that Hamzaoglu should be honored for his ongoing commitment to peace, freedom, and democracy rather than be imprisoned. We believe that he is a prisoner of conscience who researches and campaigns for the democratic and human rights of all the people of Turkey. We call for his immediate release so that he can continue his vital social, intellectual, and political work.