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Literary benefit to #FreeRightsDefenders

  • Mezrab 576 Veemkade Amsterdam, NH, 1019 BL Netherlands (map)

Join Versal, Mezrab, Hivos, MIEL, the Fifth Friday Sisterhood, and Reckoning for an evening of performances to raise funds for the families of human rights defenders imprisoned in Turkey last month.

Among them is our friend Ali Gharavi.

Ali’s story, “Flight”, will be read by his wife, the poet Laressa Dickey.

The program will also include performances by:

Quinsy Gario (poetry)
Manjit Krishna Kaur (story)
Lily Kiara (music)
Asami Kiuchi (multimedia/dance)
Matt Sadler (poetry)
Sahand Sahebdivani (music)
Baha Görkem Yalım (film)

All money raised will go to supporting the legal costs incurred by the families of Ali and Peter.

Please mark your calendars and share widely! Thank you!

Can't make it? Donate here!

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A little background:

On July 5, 8 Turkish human rights activists and 2 trainers, one German and one Swedish, were taken into custody during a workshop in Istanbul, Turkey. One of the trainers is Ali Gharavi, an IT security consultant and the husband of poet Laressa Dickey.

If you've already picked up a copy of Versal 12, you'll recognize Laressa, whose poem "Tennessee of One" comes at the denouement of the issue. Laressa has also brought her stunning work twice to our VERSO stage at Mezrab. Her husband Ali is a writer and playwright, and an IT security expert who has worked as a trainer and consultant with many human rights organizations over the years.

Ali is detained alongside Amnesty International’s Turkey Director İdil Eser, Günal Kurşun and Veli Acu (Human Rights Agenda Association), Özlem Dalkıran (Citizens’ Assembly), Peter Steudtner (non-violence and wellbeing trainer), Nalan Erkem (Citizens Assembly) and İlknur Üstün (Women's Coalition). Two other human rights defenders were also detained but have been released on bail: Nejat Taştan (Equal Rights Watch Association) and Şeyhmus Özbekli (Rights Initiative).

For more information:

Front Line Defenders

Earlier Event: June 11
Versal 12 release party
Later Event: April 8
VERSO / Uprising – #therituals