A Turkish court acquitted four human rights defenders, including the Honorary President of Amnesty International (AI) in Turkey, Taner Kilic, and the former director of the organization’s Turkish branch, Idil Eser, after years of legal appeals.
The four were arrested in July 2017 in a meeting with seven other activists, including Germans and Swedes, and accused of links to various terrorist groups.
In July 2020, Kilic was sentenced to six years in prison, while Esser and activists Gunal Kursun and Özlem Dalkiran were sentenced to two years in prison, although neither was convicted on appeal.
Most of the defendants in the case have already spent more than a year in preventive detention in 2017-2018, accused of ties to Islamist cleric Fethullah Gulen’s Brotherhood, the Kurdish guerrilla of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). In conflict with the ultra-Marxist armed group DHKP-C, organizations.
Turkey’s Supreme Court overturned the conviction last November, and now an Istanbul court, which has remanded the case, has upheld the acquittal and found no evidence of wrongdoing.
“The sentence will put an end to the judicial farce of spectacular measures. This reveals the true purpose of these politically motivated charges: to use the courts as a weapon to suppress critical voices,” said Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard.
Source: El Diario