EU warns Turkey of serious doubts about judicial remedy

The European Union warned Turkey that it has “serious doubts” about judicial remedy in the country after an Istanbul judge over-ruled a decision by another court that would have released a top human rights activist.

The incident this week, which kept Taner Kılıç, head of Amnesty International’s branch in Turkey, in jail, damaged the country’s standing, the EU said in a statement on Friday, according to Reuters.

The decision follows similar rulings by lower courts against the Constitutional Court’s release of journalists. All the suspects are being held on terrorism charges under Turkey’s state of emergency, imposed after an attempted military coup in July 2016.

“The non-implementation of judgments ... risks setting an unfortunate precedent as it casts serious doubts about the existence of effective legal remedy,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner Johannes Hahn said in a statement, Reuters reported.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has increased his grip on power since the coup, issuing edicts on a range of subjects during a crackdown on the opposition. Tens of thousands of followers and sympathisers of the Fethullah Gülen movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and leftist and liberal activists have been rounded up since the coup attempt. Very few are charged with committing acts of violence.

The United States is also calling for the release of two of its local consular workers and a U.S. pastor, who are being held without trial on terrorism charges.