Following a decision by a court in Istanbul to conditionally release the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kılıç, after nearly eight months in detention, Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Europe Director said:
“It is an enormous relief that Taner will soon be back with his wife and daughters, sleeping in his own bed for the first time in almost eight months. But we cannot forget that many other innocent people remain behind bars without a shred of evidence in Turkey.”
“These unfounded prosecutions are an attempt to silence critical voices within Turkey but have only served to highlight the importance of human rights and those who dedicate their lives to defending them.
“Today we take a brief moment to celebrate, but tomorrow we will continue our struggle to have all charges dropped against Taner, the Istanbul 10, and all other innocent victims wrongfully caught up in this vicious crackdown.”
“We thank the more than a million people who called for Taner’s release. They have shown that when we take injustice personally, and we act and speak with one voice, we will be heard.”
While Taner has now been released, the trial against him, İdil Eser and the other nine human rights defenders on trumped-up terrorism related charges continues. It is one of many baseless prosecutions against members of civil society under the crackdown in Turkey.