(ISTANBUL) — A Turkish court docket on Friday convicted Amnesty Worldwide’s former Turkey chairman, Taner Kilic, of membership in a terror group and sentenced him to greater than six years in jail.
The court docket additionally convicted three different human rights activists — Günal Kurşun, Idil Eser and Özlem Dalkıran — of fees of aiding a terror group, sentencing them to 2 years and one month every. Seven different activists, together with German citizen Peter Steudtner and Swede Ali Gharavi, have been acquitted of the fees.
Ten of the activists have been detained in a police raid in July 2017 whereas attending a digital safety coaching workshop on Buyukada island, off Istanbul. The 11th activist, Kilic, was detained individually a month earlier within the metropolis of Izmir.
Ten defendants have been charged with aiding terrorist organizations, together with the community led by a U.S.-based cleric, which the Turkish authorities blames for the 2016 coup try and has designated as a terror group.
Kilic was accused of membership in cleric Fethullah Gulen’s community. Gulen denies allegations that he engineered the coup try.
Their trial heightened issues about Turkey’s remedy of human rights defenders and helped bitter Turkey’s relations with European nations, notably Germany.
Amnesty Worldwide condemned the ruling as a “crushing blow for human rights and for justice” in Turkey.
“At present, we have now borne witness to a travesty of justice of spectacular proportions,” mentioned Andrew Gardner, Amnesty Worldwide’s Turkey researcher who noticed the listening to. “The court docket’s verdict defies logic and exposes this three-year trial because the politically motivated try and silence impartial voices.”
The 4 convicted activists, who have been launched from jail pending the end result, have been anticipated to enchantment the decision. All 11 defendants maintained their innocence all through the trial.
Gardner mentioned: “This case has been a litmus check for the Turkish justice system. As such, it’s tragic to see the half it has performed and continues to play in criminalizing the act of standing up for human rights.”
This story has been corrected to indicate that the three different human rights activists have been sentenced to 2 years and one month, not one 12 months and one month.