Merkel blasts arrest of German activist by Turkey as 'unjustified'

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 18, 2017 12:28 PM

KIENBAUM, Germany (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday sharply criticized Turkey's detention of German human rights activist Peter Steudtner as "absolutely unjustified", saying the German government would do all it could to secure his release.

Merkel made the unscheduled remarks at a ceremony for German top athletes, saying the case was of "the utmost concern."

"We are firmly convinced that this arrest is absolutely unjustified. We, as the German government, condemn it. We declare our solidarity with him and all the others arrested," Merkel said.

"And the German government will do all it can, on all levels, to secure his release," she added.

Merkel said the arrest marked another case "where innocent people had been caught up in wheels of the justice system and wound up in detention."

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Reuters TV; Editing by Michelle Martin)