Six women's rights activists arrested in southeast Turkey

Turkish police arrested six women’s rights activists on charges of membership in a terrorist organisation in the southeastern Diyarbakır province, Tele1 news site reported on Saturday.

Diyarbakır police on Monday raided the Rosa Women’s Association, taking 26 women into police custody on terror charges, pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency reported.

On Saturday, a Turkish court released nine of the women pending trial, while eight were placed on house arrest and the detention of eight women was extended for another 48 hours, Tele1 said.

Among those arrested are Leyla Akgül, a former advisor to pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Dersim Dağ and Socialist Women’s Committee (SKM) member Satiye Ok.

The arrests follow Turkey’sexit from a European treaty aimed at preventing violence against women, a move that has sparked protests by Turkish women’s rights groups. Dozens of protesters were detained following nationwide demonstrations.

Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pulled Turkey out of the “Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence,’’ widely known as the Istanbul Convention, in a decision that has sparked heavy criticism by Turkey’s Western allies.