Turkish Amnesty International head arrested for ‘Gulen ties’

By ANSA | June 7, 2017, 17:51

Along with 22 other attorneys. Was lawyer for Italian journalist

 

 

ISTANBUL – The Izmir prosecutor’s office issued 23 arrest warrants for attorneys, including the president of Amnesty International in Turkey Taner Kilic, for having ties to presumed coup leader Fethullah Gulen.

Kilic was the attorney for Italian journalist Gabriele Del Grande, who was held for two weeks in April after having been stopped by authorities at the Syrian border.

Kilic was arrested in his home, which was also seized as his office.

At least 17 of the other lawyers for whom warrants were issued have already been taken in.

“The fact that Turkey’s post-coup purge has now dragged the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey into its web is further proof of just how far it has gone and just how arbitrary it has become. Taner Kiliç has a long and distinguished record of defending exactly the kind of freedoms that the Turkish authorities are now intent on trampling,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, who called for the “immediate release” of the attorneys.

“At present, Taner Kiliç’s detention does not seem to be connected to any of Amnesty International’s work, nor to be specifically targeting the organization,” said a statement by the organization. Kilic has been part of management at Amnesty International’s Turkish branch for various periods since 2002 and has been its president since 2014.

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