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Turkish police release all activists detained during Istanbul Pride march

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Turkish police have released all of the nearly 400 activists detained during a banned Pride march in Istanbul, organizers said Monday.

While homosexuality has been legal throughout the period of the modern Turkish republic, Istanbul Pride has been banned since a 2014 parade drew tens of thousands of participants to one of the largest LGBTQ events in the predominantly Muslim region.

Kaos GL Association, which campaigns to promote the human rights of LGBTQ people against discrimination, said on Twitter that all 373 people detained by police on Sunday have been released, many of them “after a night in detention”.

the arrest even started before the start of the banned rally, with riot police raiding cafes and streets in a scenic Istanbul neighborhood near Taksim Square where the event was to be held, according to an AFP team.

Among those arrested was an AFP photographer, who was released late on Sunday.

According to AFP journalists, the police prevented the media from filming the arrests in Istanbul.

The Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, had urged Turkish officials to continue the march and ensure the safety of the protesters.

“The human rights of LGBTI people in Turkey must be effectively protected,” she said in a statement.

(AFP)

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