Amnesty Turkey chair released after 14 months in jail

A court in Istanbul has ordered the release the honorary chair of Amnesty International after over 14 months in pre-trial detention, Amnesty International said.

Taner Kılıç and other human rights defenders had been accused of plotting a coup attempt at a hotel on the Turkish island of Büyükada in 2017. Despite Kılıç’s release, the charges against him and 10 others in the case have not been dropped.

“It has taken us more than a year of campaigning and struggle to get here, but it appears that Taner will finally be freed,” Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s secretary general said.

“But beneath the smiles of joy and relief there will be sorrow, anger and a steely determination. Sorrow for all the things Taner has missed during his cruel incarceration. Anger that the baseless charges against him and the Istanbul 10 have not been dropped. And determination to continue our fight for human rights in Turkey and for the release of all those human rights defender journalists and others who have been unjustly jailed in the vicious crackdown.”