Police release nearly 400 detained at Istanbul Pride march
Istanbul: Turkish police have released all of the nearly 400 activists detained during a banned Pride march in Istanbul, organisers said on Monday.
Although homosexuality has been legal throughout the period of the modern Turkish republic, Istanbul Pride has been banned since a 2014 parade drew tens of thousands of participants in one of the biggest LGBTQ events in the majority Muslim region.
Kaos GL Association, which campaigns to promote the human rights of LGBTQ people against discrimination, said on Twitter that all 373 people detained by police on Sunday have been released, many of them “after a night in custody”.
The detention began even before the banned rally’s start, with riot police raiding cafes and streets in a scenic district of Istanbul near Taksim Square where the event was to be held, according to an AFP team.
Those detained included an AFP photographer, who was released late on Sunday.
Police prevented the media from filming the Istanbul arrests, according to AFP journalists.
The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, had urged Turkish officials to let the the march to go ahead and to ensure the safety of the marchers.
“The human rights of LGBTI people in Turkey need to be effectively protected,” she said in a statement.