Today, more than a year after he was first imprisoned, Taner Kilic, Amnesty Turkey’s Honorary Chair, will appear before a judge. Just a few days ago, a police report submitted on his case found no evidence that Taner ever had ByLock, a messaging app, on his phone. The entire case against Taner centered around the accusation that Taner had this app, which the Turkish government claims was used by conspirators involved in the July 2016 coup attempt to communicate. In response to the report Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, emphasized that
The failure to substantiate the accusation against Taner comes as no shock. What is shocking is that it has taken more than a year for this police report to be submitted, and during that time Taner has been locked behind bars.
Despite the injustice that Taner has been subjected to, he remains resolute about his commitment to serving the cause of human rights. Secretary General Shetty spoke with Taner yesterday and relayed the following message.
Even while suffering this injustice, Taner is thinking of others. Rather than talk about his own situation, he was keen to focus on the wider issue of human rights violations in Turkey and stress his ongoing commitment to continue his fight against rights abuses. He also wanted to send his gratitude to all those around the world who have supported calls for his release.
Tomorrow I will be in court for Taner’s fourth hearing. Not a shred of credible evidence has been presented to substantiate the absurd charges made against him, so Taner must now be released.
Nothing can bring back the precious moments that Taner has missed, but tomorrow the court can put an end to this injustice and allow Taner to return to his family and resume his vital work.