June 6 marked the 1 year anniversary of Amnesty Turkey’s Honorary Chair Taner Kilic’s arrest and imprisonment. Ordinary citizens as well as government representatives marked the day with renewed calls to end this injustice and release Taner.
The spokesperson for the European External Action Service (EEAS), the diplomatic service and foreign and defence ministry of the European Union, acknowledged that Taner is not alone in being unjustly detained
Taner Kılıҫ, the Head of Amnesty International in Turkey, was detained a year ago. Mr. Kiliç is a lawyer and human rights defender and like him, many other human rights defenders such as Osman Kavala, as well as journalists, members of Parliament, judges, prosecutors, and academics remain in detention.
The authorities in Turkey – a EU candidate country and member of the Council of Europe – need to ensure the right to fair trail, a legal process, on the basis of the principle of presumption of innocence and in line with the European Convention of Human Rights and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.
Bärbel Kofler, the Gernman Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, pointed to the lack of evidence that Taner is guilty of any crime.
Exactly one year has passed since Taner Kılıç, a respected lawyer and former Chair of the Board of Amnesty International in Turkey was arrested in Izmir.
I am most concerned by the fact that Taner Kılıç is still in custody, even though law enforcement authorities have yet to produce any evidence to substantiate the serious allegations made against him.
His trial stands as a symbol of the large number of accused representatives of civil society who are now subject to criminal prosecution in Turkey.
I therefore urgently call on Turkey, in line with its international obligations, to grant Mr Kılıç and all other affected individuals a fair and transparent trial.
If the charges brought against him remain unsubstantiated, then he must be released immediately.