Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement today (6 June 2018) on the first anniversary of the arrest of Taner Kılıç, Honorary Chair of Amnesty International’s Turkey section:
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.
The former Chair of Amnesty International’s Turkey section was arrested in Izmir on 6 June 2017. The Public Prosecutor’s Office accused him of “membership of a terrorist organisation”. On 31 January 2018, the competent court ordered his release from custody. Just one day later and following an appeal by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the same court ordered the annulment of this decision and that he remain in custody.
The next trial date in the proceedings against Mr Kılıç is scheduled for 21 June 2018.