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June 28th, 2017

Turkey: Free Taner Kılıç!

type:Petition, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

The Turkish government arrested Taner Kılıç, the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, for being part of the so called “Gülen movement” which the Turkish authorities blame for last year’s attempted coup during which 240 people were killed. Since then, the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan ordered the arrest of about 50.000 persons and removed about 150.000 persons from public offices.

According to Amnesty International, Kılıç had been taken into custody on June 6th together with 22 other lawyers in the province of Izmir and charged three days later. He is being held in detention pending trial.

“The fact that the Turkish cleansing campaign after the Putsch has also pulled the chairman of Amnesty International in Turkey into their vortex, shows once again how far and arbitrary this campaign has become”, declared AI Secretary General Salil Shetty after Kılıç’s detention. Currently there is no indication that the arrest is related to his work for Amnesty and does not seem to be a specific action against the organization. It is unclear why Kılıç is suspected of having connections with the Gülen network. According to the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet the attorneys are accused of the use of the messenger app ByLock which is popular among Gülen followers, according to the government.

Shetty: “Taner Kiliç has a long and distinguished record of defending exactly the kind of freedoms that the Turkish authorities are now intent on trampling.” Taner Kılıç is a lawyer, political activist and struggled for the rights of refugees during his work as chair of the NGO “Mültecilerle Dayanışma Derneği” (Association for Solidarity with Refugees).

Amnesty International fights for the release of Taner Kılıç. Support their campaign #FreeTaner and sign their letter to the Turkish government demanding to drop the charges against him and release him immediately.

amnesty.org