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Online Event: Stories that Need to be Heard

08 December 2020

Join us for an online event on 14 December to celebrate the launch of the virtual exhibition of our series “Stories that Need to be Heardabout the experience of human rights defenders in Turkey.

Title: Stories that need to be heard

Time: 11.00-12.30 (CET) – 14 December 2020

Where: Register via Zoom

About the event

Human rights belong to everyone. But those who work to ensure that we can claim our rights – human rights defenders – are increasingly harassed, threatened, or jailed.

Who will defend the defenders?

The Netherlands Helsinki Committee is proud to do its part to ensure that the efforts of human rights defenders are supported, and that their stories are told.

In Turkey, the climate for human rights defenders is particular worrying. Once upon a time, the country was considered a promising example of democratic transformation. But today, human rights and those who defend rights in Turkey are increasingly at risk. In the past years, thousands of journalists, academics, lawyers, and government critics have been sacked, imprisoned, and charged with terror-related or libel crimes; a situation which has significantly worsened since  the  attempted coup of 2016.

Each of these defenders has a story to share – a story of courage in the face of challenge, a story often of heartbreak and dismay, a story that needs to be heard.

Over the past two years, the NHC has been collecting some of these stories, which we are proud to display in a virtual exhibition, called “Stories that Need to be Heard.”

The virtual exhibition – to be launched on 14 December – showcases 20 inspiring stories which reflect the invaluable efforts of those who defend human rights in Turkey.

These stories underline that defending human rights does not have to be a profession; it comes from a belief that all people have the right to live in peace and to be treated equally. From doctors to teachers, from plumbers to journalists, everyone can defend human rights.

To celebrate the launch of this virtual exhibition, we are honoured to welcome 3 human rights defenders to share more about  their stories with us.


  • Meltem Aslan, Co-Director, Hafiza Merkezi (Truth Justice Memory Center)
  • Nejat Taştan, Board member, Association for Monitoring Equal Rights
  • Yasemin Öz, Lawyer, KAOS GL


  • Pepijn Gerrits, Executive Director, NHC

*There will be simultaneous interpretation for English and Turkish.