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9:46 PM
CONTACT: Greenpeace
Cecilia Goin, Tel: +31 (0) 20 718 2159,
Turkey: Greenpeace Activists' Freedom Restricted While Climate Criminals Go Unpunished
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 August 29th.

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 International.

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 international community.

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 arrested

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.


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