ISTANBUL, Turkey - September 5 - A Turkish court today rejected an
application for the removal of the bail conditions placed on 21
Greenpeace activists who peacefully protested at the state-owned Can
coal power plant against the Government's dangerous energy policy on
The ruling particularly affects five foreign activists who are not
allowed to return to their home countries for an indefinite time.
Although no charges have yet been brought, this decision impacts on both
their professional and personal lives.
"The activists took non-violent action to expose a major cause of
climate change that threatens to affect us all. The response from the
Turkish authorities has been to restrict their freedom of movement
before a charge has even been brought. The decision by the court to keep
these restrictions in place is a significant blow to Turkey's claim to
be a progressive and fair society," said Paul Horsman of Greenpeace
As a result of the ruling, international pressure is expected to focus
on Turkish embassies and the Turkish Government itself, making the case
that these restrictions are wholly unnecessary and are undermining the
reputation of Turkey as an open and progressive part of the
Letters from Greenpeace offices worldwide have already been sent to
their respective Turkish embassies demanding the immediate removal of
these bail conditions, with supporters from across the Greenpeace world
also expected to voice their protest.
Greenpeace lawyers submitted the application yesterday arguing that:
- The bail conditions have no precedent in cases of environmental protest
- The conditions severely affect the lives of those in question
- In view of the fact that no volunteer involved in a Greenpeace action
has ever failed to attend a court date, there is no evidence to indicate
that such restrictions are necessary
- The conditions are disproportionate compared to the actions of those
Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organisation, which uses
non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental
problems, and to force solutions essential to a green and peaceful future.