Turkey: Court deals crushing blow for human rights and for justice as four activists convicted
Following a majority court ruling to convict Taner Kılıç for ‘membership of the Fethullah Gülen terrorist organization’ and to convict Özlem Dalkıran, İdil Eser and Günal Kurşun for ‘assisting the Fethullah Gülenterrorist organization’, Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher who observed the hearing said:
“Today, we have borne witness to a travesty of justice of spectacular proportions. This verdict is a crushing blow not only for Taner, Özlem, İdil and Günal and their families but for everyone who believes in justice, and human rights activism in Turkey and beyond.
This verdict is a crushing blow not only for Taner, Özlem, İdil and Günal and their families but for everyone who believes in justice, and human rights activism in Turkey and beyond
“The decision of the court is staggering. During 12 court hearings, each and every allegation has been comprehensively exposed as a baseless slur. The court’s verdict defies logic and exposes this three-year trial as the politically motivated attempt to silence independent voices it was from day one.”
It is tragic to see the part the Turkish justice system has played and continues to play in criminalizing the act of standing up for human rights
“This case has been a litmus test for the Turkish justice system. As such, it is tragic to see the part it has played and continues to play in criminalizing the act of standing up for human rights. We will continue to stand with our friends and colleagues as they appeal these shameful verdicts.”
Taner was sentenced for 6 years and 3 months.
İdil, Özlem and Günal were all convicted for 25 months for assisting a terrorist organisation. There have been NO DETENTION ORDERS for any of the four convicted. The four of them will not be imprisoned pending their appeals. The appeals process could take years.
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For more information about the case
For an analysis of the case against Taner Kılıç visit: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur44/7331/2017/en/
For details of the November 2019 hearing visit https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/11/turkey-amnestys-exdirector-and-honorary-chair-must-be-acquitted-in-absurd-terror-trial/