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Alert: Germany / Turkey ñ Human rights organisation refused visa to Germany to investigate hate crimes

09 July 2008

Germany has refused visa applications to a well-known human rights organisation which sought entry to investigate hate crimes targeting Turkish minorities.

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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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09 July 2008

Alert: Germany / Turkey ñ Human rights organisation refused visas to Germany to investigate hate crimes.

Contents
1. Summary
2. Action required
3. Sample letter
4. Addresses for sample letter


1. Summary

The Istanbul Branch of Mazlumder, a well respected NGO in Turkey, was denied visa applications for its members to investigate a recent spate of racial attacks in Germany against minorities, principally of Turkish origin. Whilst the investigation was of an urgent nature, the committeeís applications were not dealt with for almost two months, at which time the application of the committeeís vice-president was turned down.

Germanyís action is very worrisome in light of the importance the EU and OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) attach to investigating hate crimes. Likewise, this delay and refusal significantly undermines Germanyís commitment to solving problems of societal cohesion.


2. Action required

Write to the German Ambassador in your country, requesting him/her to urge the relevant German authorities issue visas to Mazlumder representatives in order that they can investigate hate crimes targeting minorities. Campaigners in the US, UK, Australia and Canada can use the addresses provided at the bottom.


3. Sample letter
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Sample letters are given below for your convenience. Please note that model letters can be sent directly or adjusted as necessary to include further details. If you receive a reply to the letter you send, we request you to send a copy of the letter you sent and the reply you received to IHRC. This is extremely important as it helps IHRC to monitor the situation with regards to our campaigns and to improve upon the current model letters.

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Sample letter to the German Ambassador in your country (UK campaigners can use the address supplied)


[Your Name]
[Your Address]


[Date]

HE Mr Wolfgang Ischinger
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
23 Belgrave Square/Chesham Place
London, SW1X 8PZ, UK

Your Excellency,

Re: Human rights organisation refused visas to Germany to investigate hate crimes

I am very concerned about the recent decision by Germany authorities to refuse a visa applications to a well-known human rights organisation which sought entry to investigate hate crimes targeting Turkish minorities.

The Istanbul Branch of Mazlumder, a well respected NGO in Turkey, was denied visa applications for its members to investigate a recent spate of racial attacks in Germany against minorities, principally of Turkish origin. Whilst the investigation was of an urgent nature, the committeeís applications were not dealt with for almost two months, at which time the application of the committeeís vice-president for a visa was denied. This is indeed worrisome in light of the importance the EU and OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) attach to investigating hate crimes.

I urge you to call on your government to promptly issue visas to Mazlumder representatives in order that they can investigate hate crimes targeting Turkish minorities and refrain from undermining Germanyís commitment to solving problems of societal cohesion.

I look forward to hearing back from you soon regarding this urgent matter.


Yours sincerely,


[Your Signature]
[Your Name]

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4. Addresses for sample letters

American campaigners can write to:

HE Mr Klaus Scharioth
German Embassy
4645 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC, 20007-1998, USA

Fax: (202) 298-4249
Email: http://www.globescope.biz/germany/reg/index.cfm


Australian campaigners can write to:

HE Mr Martin Lutz
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
119 Empire Circuit
Yarralumla ACT 2600, Australia

Fax: (02) 6270 1951
Email : info1@germanembassy.org.au


British campaigners can write to:

HE Mr Wolfgang Ischinger
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
23 Belgrave Square/Chesham Place
London, SW1X 8PZ, UK

Fax: (020) 7824 1435
Email: info@german-embassy.org.uk


Canadian campaigners can write to:

HE Mr Matthias Martin A. Hˆpfner (M)
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
1 Waverley Street
Ottawa, ON K2P 0T8, Canada

Fax: (613) 594-9330
Email: GermanEmbassyOttawa@on.aibn.com

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Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

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