Statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström on the arrests in Turkey
The Government takes a very serious view of the arrest of the Swedish human rights activist Ali Gharavi and the continued detention of him and the other activists arrested in Turkey on 5 July. We are working very intensively to establish some clarity concerning the arrest and are clear in our expectations of Turkey. It is our understanding that Mr Gharavi was in Turkey to take part in a peaceful seminar on internet freedom and human rights, and we have urged Turkey to promptly clarify the grounds for the accusations against him. We continue to work in close cooperation with Germany.
The Government is very concerned about developments in Turkey, not least in terms of democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law. These detentions are a continuation of an extended period of measures against representatives of human rights organisations. A thriving civil society, as well as free media and a free opposition, are prerequisites for a pluralistic and democratic society.
The Government regularly expresses its concern over developments in Turkey to Turkish representatives in Stockholm and Ankara. We also push for these issues to be addressed in other contexts, such as in the EU and the Council of Europe. We will continue to exert pressure both bilaterally and together with other countries.