Nov 28 2017

“Blatant suppression” in Turkey shocks director of Amnesty India

Aakar Patel, the executive director of Amnesty International’s branch in India, has expressed surprise at how little regard the Turkish court paid to the arguments presented when he visited Istanbul to attend the trial of his Turkish colleagues.

“I have been a court reporter for many years and have not seen such blatant suppression of those who are fighting for human rights, suppression of freedom of expression, and linking it to terrorism,” he wrote in the magazine Outlook India.

“I wish the Indian government had sent a representative also to the trial and I hope it does it for the next hearing. This is an issue which we must take up with Turkey.”

Despite forensic investigations showing that Amnesty Turkey President Taner Kılıç had never had the ByLock mobile application on his phone – and thus, Patel said, knocking down the argument that had been used to jail him – the case was not dismissed.

“The expert concluded that there was no chance that he had ever downloaded Bylock,” Patel wrote. “Despite this, during the first hearing, he had not been granted bail.”

But the case was not dismissed in that hearing, or the next either.

“Taner made a direct and unemotional plea to be released on bail, given that there was no evidence against him,” Patel said.

“The prosecutor spoke the one line I heard him speak the entire day. He said the state opposed bail.”