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Students Melike and Özgür were celebrating Pride in Turkey when they were met with pepper spray and tear gas from police. They face up to three years in prison, simply for participating in peaceful protest.  

METU LGBTI+ Solidarity Group have organised an annual Pride march on campus since 2011. 

However, in 2019, the university's management told the students the Pride march could not go ahead. Undeterred, the Solidarity Group staged a Pride sit-in instead. In response, the university called the police who used excessive force, including plastic bullets, against the peaceful protestors. 

Police arrested at least 23 students – including Melike and Özgür – and an academic. Some of those detained hadn't even taken part in the protest.

Despite simply exercising their right to peaceful protest, 18 students and the academic are on trial. If found guilty, they face up to three years in prison. 

Take action and tell Turkey they must be acquitted of all charges.