The honorary Chair of Amnesty International, Turkey Taner Kılıç is sentenced to a further 6 years in prison
We have received the following message from Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty UK:
I wanted to write to you all this evening after a very difficult day hearing the news from Istanbul that our colleague Taner Kılıç, was today (3 July 2020) convicted of being a member of a terrorist organisation and sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in jail. Idil Esler the former Director of Amnesty Turkey and two other members of the Istanbul 10 were also given prison sentences for assisting.
This is an outrageous miscarriage of justice and it is heartbreaking to think of the impact on our colleagues and their families. It is also frightening to think of the signal that it sends to human rights defenders in Turkey. If even members of Amnesty International, with all of our strength as a global movement, aren’t safe, then who is?
I have personally attended 9 of the 12 hearings for this group of people. The charges have been proved to be completely groundless from the start. It is outrageous that any of these people have spent any time behind bars, let alone now being subjected to a further sentence. They now have a right to appeal, and at the time or writing there have been no detention orders and so they are not being taken to prison from the courthouse.
The purpose of my writing to you today is to bring you up to date with what is happening and to thank you for all the work that you have done so far to fight for justice for our colleagues in Turkey. AIUK could not have done more to exert pressure on the Turkish Authorities and to provide solidarity and support to our colleagues. Having spent so much time with them over the past 3 years I know how much they have valued that and the impact is has had.
There will be more for us to do now as they appeal their convictions. We will take our lead from Amnesty Turkey and the IS and no doubt we will be taking action again to try to quash these outrageous convictions I will be writing to the staff at Amnesty Turkey tonight to share our solidarity and love and I know we will all want to do all we can, and this is one of those times where being part of a global movement feels more important than ever.
I wish we could all be together at this time to provide support, solidary and inspiration, but I know we are all together in spirit.
We will share any news and future action when we have it.
In the meantime, I wish you all a restful weekend. We will be thinking of Taner, Idil and all of the brave human rights defenders in Turkey, and it is good to know that we are doing that together, ready to continue our support for them when they need us.