Turkey: Welcome acquittal of all Pride participants ‘a victory that should never have been necessary’

Responding to the decision of Ankara Criminal Court of First Instance to acquit 18 students and an academic who were prosecuted for taking part in a campus-based Pride parade in May 2019, Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International’s Europe Deputy Director said:

“More than two years ago, a peaceful Pride march in Ankara was met with police using pepper spray, plastic bullets and tear gas, and participants were rounded up and dragged through the courts. Today’s verdict is a victory for justice, but this protracted legal battle should never have happened.

“Today we take a moment to rejoice but tomorrow we will continue the struggle to end the crackdown on human rights in Turkey, and redouble our efforts to protect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”