Amnesty International has launched a campaign to release the 9 rights advocates including the organization's Turkey Office Director İdil Eser and its Turkey Office Executive Board President Taner Kılıç, who were detained during a training workshop on July 5 in Büyükada and later arrested. They have been been behind bars for 100 days.
Recently, Prosecutor Can Tuncay from İstanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office Terror Crimes Department completed the 17-page indictment for the case of the rights advocates. He included Amnesty International Turkey Office Executive Board President Taner Kılıç, who was not present at the workshop, as a "suspect" to the indictment.
"Since they are being silenced, we will speak up for them"
Amnesty International in its campaign call said:
"These courageous rights defenders have been arrested for no other reason than their faith in human rights. Since they are behind bars, we will be marching for them. Since they are being silenced, we will speak up for them. Because defending human rights is not a crime!
"Join us, let us together demand that the arrested rights defenders be released and all charges against them be dropped".
On July 5, 10 rights advocates from various rights organizations were taken into custody during a training workshop with the topic "Protection and digital security of human rights advocates" in Büyükada, one of the Prince Islands in İstanbul. Nothing was heard from detained rights defenders for 30 hours.
It was later revealed that the detention warrant had only been issued five hours after the advocates had already been taken into custody.
On July 11, an additional seven days of detention were issued for the rights advocates.
On July 17, the rights advocates were sent to court for arrest on charges of "committing crimes on behalf of an illegal organization as non-members", and "being a member of an illegal organization".
On July 21, the prosecutor objected to the release of the four rights advocates and a detention warrant was issued for them. Detained while at their homes, Üstün and Erkem were arrested on July 23.
On July 25, Taştan and Özbekli were released on probation with travel bans. Özlem Dalkıran, Peter Steudtner, Ali Gharavi, Veli Acu, Günal Kurşun, İdil Eser and Nalan Erkem are still being kept in Silivri No. 9 F-type Prison and İlknur Üstün is behind bars in Sincan Closed Prison for Women.
According to the indictment submitted to İstanbul Heavy Criminal Court, rights advocate Taner Kılıç, an executive from Amnesty International Turkey Bureau faces from 7.5 to 15 years in prison on the charge of "Being a member of the armed Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)", and other rights advocates are facing from 5 to 10 years in prison on the charge of "aiding an armed terrorist organization".
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