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Raci Bilici

HRD & Chairperson
Human Rights Association (IHD) Diyarbakır Branch

Raci Bilici is the Chairperson of the Diyarbakır Branch of Human Rights Association (IHD) and national Vice-Chairperson of İHD. The association was founded in 1986 with the aim to promote human rights and democracy in Turkey. It conducts research and educational events in the area of human rights, monitors and documents violations of human rights, and combats all forms of discrimination.

Human rights defenders in Turkey have been subjected to harassment, threats, surveillance, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly, judicial harassment including criminal prosecution, violent attacks, prolonged arbitrary detention and ill-treatment. They become target for their work on denouncing impunity for serious human rights violations, defending sexual rights, investigating on ultra-nationalist networks, advocating for labour rights or defending the right to conscientious objection.

Turkey's overly broad definition of terrorism allows for arbitrary imposition of the terrorism charges against individuals about whom there is little evidence of logistical or material support for terrorism. Scores of people are arrested and charged with terrorism-related offences for voicing their concern on the Kurdish issue through non-violent speeches and writings. They include political figures, serving mayors, human rights lawyers, journalists, intellectual, academics and human rights defenders – all invariably accused of links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan, PKK) or the Kurdistan Communities Union (Koma Ciwakên Kurdistan, KCK).