"As a former journalist and as minister of foreign affairs, I am seriously concerned about the current detention in Turkey of democratically elected officials, journalists, academics and human rights defenders — including the head of Amnesty International in Turkey and other prominent leaders — as well as the closing of media outlets and shutting down of NGOs," Freeland said.
On Tuesday, a Turkish court ruled that German national Peter Steudtner as well as five other human rights activists, including Amnesty International's Turkey director Idil Eser, should remain in custody. The activists were detained by the Turkish police on July 5 for allegedly assisting a terrorist group.
"We call on Turkish authorities to respond to current challenges without violating international legal obligations and human rights. We will continue to closely monitor this situation," Freeland said.
Turkish authorities have detained thousands of journalists, diplomats, judges, members of the military and human rights activists since the failed coup of July 15, 2016, over their alleged support for exiled Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of being behind the plot to overthrow the government.