Four Iranian refugees detained in western Turkey for protesting withdrawal from Istanbul Convention

Turkish police have detained four Iranian refugees on accusations of “damaging the public order” following their participation in a March 20 demonstration in protest of Ankara's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.

Ayhan Çimendağ / Duvar

Turkish police early on April 5 detained four Iranian refugees on the grounds that they participated in a protest against Ankara's withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, an international accord designed to protect women.

Esmaeil Fattahi, Leili Faraji and Zeinab Sahafi had participated in the protest in the western province of Denizli on March 20. Mohammad Pourakbari Kermani was also among the detainees although he did not participate in the protest in question.

The four Iranian refugees were taken to the Foreigners' Department at the Denizli Police Station. They were asked if they had participated in the March 20 protest and were told the demonstration was “illegal.”

A lawyer said that the four refugees will spend the night at the police station.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pulled Turkey out of the Istanbul Convention in a midnight decree on March 20, despite calls from campaigners who see the pact as key to combating rising domestic violence.

Following Erdoğan's move, protestors took the streets with a demand that the government reverse its decision to withdraw from the international treaty.

There has been also a flood of reaction from Western countries and international organizations – which called on Ankara to reconsider its decision.