Freedom hope short-lived for chair of Amnesty Turkey

The chair of the Turkish branch of Amnesty International was redetained shortly after a court ordered his release pending trial, secularist newspaper Hürriyet reported.

An Istanbul criminal court decided to release Taner Kılıç subject to judicial controls pending trial after almost eight months in jail.

But before he could be released, the Istanbul prosecutors’ office filed an appeal and Kılıç was redetained on Wednesday until the objection could be adjudicated by another criminal court, the newspaper said.

Kılıç and 10 other human rights activists face charges of being members of a terrorist organisation following a two-day rights workshop they held on the island of Büyükada, off Istanbul, in 2017.

Turkey’s pro-government press had linked the workshop to a meeting of international relations scholars to discuss Iran that had happened on the island the year before during a failed coup attempt, saying that both groups of people were conspiracies against the leadership of the country.

The prosecutors also said that Kılıç had used ByLock, a mobile telephone application popular among members of the Gülen movement, a religious group that Turkey accuses of carrying out the 2016 failed coup attempt. But it was shown in court that he had instead downloaded other applications that had sent messages to the ByLock IP address.
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