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    June 27, 2018

    Responding to the news that the Istanbul Regional Court of Justice has ruled for the release of imprisoned academic and writer Mehmet Altan, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Gauri van Gulik said:

    “The release of Mehmet Altan was long overdue. His imprisonment was a travesty of justice that was emblematic of the deep flaws within the Turkish justice system.

    “The country’s Constitutional Court twice ruled his imprisonment to be in violation of his right to freedom and security, yet unbelievably the trial court defied the ruling of Turkey’s highest court and condemned Mehmet to another six months of incarceration.

    “Today’s welcome regional court ruling confirms the Constitutional Court’s decision as ‘final and binding’. The courts must now turn their attention to the thousands of others who remain unfairly detained in Turkey, including Amnesty international’s own Taner Kılıç.”

    Background

    Mehmet Altan has been held in Silivri prison, Istanbul since 22 September 2016.

    June 21, 2018

    In response to the continued detention of human rights defender, Taner Kılıç, after the latest hearing against him, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General said:

    “Today’s heart-breaking decision to keep our colleague in jail is yet another travesty of justice.

    “After more than a year away from his family, and without a a shred of credible evidence presented to substantiate the absurd charges made against him, his cruel and protracted incarceration defies all logic.

    “Earlier this month, any fig-leaf of legitimacy for the prosecutor’s case was stripped away with the submission of the long-delayed police report. By failing to find any evidence that Taner ever had the ByLock messaging app on his phone, the report removed the central accusation against him. A second police report submitted to the court this morning, confirmed that there was no trace of Bylock on Taner’s phone.

    June 20, 2018
    Amnesty Secretary General meets Taner Kılıç in jail for first time Trial resumes in Istanbul on 21 June Amnesty Secretary General and directors from four countries to attend hearing

    On the eve of the resumption of his trial, jailed Amnesty International Turkey’s Honorary Chair, Taner Kılıç, has made an impassioned plea for people not to stay silent on the issue of human rights abuses in Turkey and vowed to carry on his work when he is released.

    “When I am released I want to carry on. I know now more than ever how important human rights are,” Taner told Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, who visited him in Şakran high security prison today.

    “Others in are in a worse situation than me,” Taner continued, stressing the need for solidarity with everyone who has been unjustly jailed in Turkey.

    June 18, 2018

    •         Police report finds nothing to suggest Taner Kılıç ever had the controversial ByLock app on his phone

    •         Trial resumes in Istanbul on 21 June

    •         Amnesty Secretary General and directors from four countries to attend trial

    More than a year after his arrest, a 15-page police report finally submitted by the prosecution, fails to find any evidence that Amnesty International Turkey’s Honorary Chair, Taner Kılıç, ever had ByLock on his phone. The alleged presence of the secure messaging application was central to the case against the rights defender, who is still languishing in prison.

    The findings of the police report do not substantiate the central accusation against Taner and Amnesty International is therefore renewing its call for his immediate release and acquittal.

    June 18, 2018

    Taner Kiliç, Amnesty International Turkey's Honourary Chair, has spent more than a year in prison. Taner’s trial, and that of 10 other human rights defenders, resumes in Istanbul on June 21st. 

    In June 2017, Taner Kiliç was charged and jailed as part of a crackdown on human rights defenders. Taner has done nothing wrong and never should have been arrested. 

    Taner is our friend and colleague. We will not give up until he is free. 

    Join our call to #FreeTaner and demand his immediate and unconditional release. Here's how: 

    1. TAKE ACTION NOW

    Sign and share our action demanding that Taner be released immediately and unconditionally.

    >>SIGN NOW

    2. SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR TANER

    Make a sign with a message calling for Turkey to #FreeTaner. Include a message about where you are from. 

    June 06, 2018

    Despite the government’s cynical crackdown on human rights, activists for justice and freedom will not be silenced, Amnesty International said on the first anniversary of the detention of Taner Kılıç.

    The Honorary Chair of Amnesty International Turkey was arrested on 6 June 2017 on a baseless charge of belonging to a terrorist organization. More than a million people have since raised their voices and backed Amnesty’s campaign for his immediate release.

    “Today we mourn the year of Taner Kılıç’s life that Turkey’s government has unjustly taken from him, but this is also a moment to redouble our efforts to secure his release and that of many other civil society activists whose work has cost them their freedom,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

    “Turkish authorities have fostered a climate of fear by mercilessly persecuting those who dare to speak out. But today, Taner’s hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide stand in solidarity to send a resounding message to the Turkish government: we will not be silenced.”

    June 04, 2018

    By Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Director of Campaigns for Europe

    To be forgotten. People who have been wrongfully imprisoned say the fear of being forgotten is one of their biggest worries in prison. 

    The chilling fear that eventually, nobody will care about what happens to them. A creeping anxiety that they will languish in captivity, while the world outside slowly forgets their very existence.

    Such thoughts have also slipped through the mind of Amnesty Turkey’s Honorary Chair, Taner Kılıç. This 6th of June, the human rights lawyer has been deprived of his freedom for a whole year, although he’s done nothing wrong.

    But throughout this ordeal, he has gained strength from the support of people all over the world: “Even if an imprisoned person may fall in the illusion that he would be forgotten even by his closest ones -like “forgotten prisoners”- my situation has been the opposite in fact.

    In addition to my family and friends, I’ve become known in and watched by the world thanks to Amnesty International.”

    May 11, 2018

    Ahead of tomorrow’s planned student Pride march at the Middle East Technical University - cancelled by the university’s rector under the blanket ban of LGBTI events by Ankara’s city authorities - Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Campaigns Director for Europe said:

    “For the last seven years students at this university have marched through their campus in support of LGBTI rights. Rather than banning Pride events, university and city authorities should be supporting and protecting such marches. Students must be allowed to march without fear of intimidation or violence.”

    “It is not just this university’s march that is under threat. Such bans have been used to reverse a once progressive trend to counter homophobia and transphobia in Turkey.”

    Background

    Ahead of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT) on 17 May, Amnesty International are calling on Ankara Governor to reverse the blanket ban on all LGBTI events in Ankara.

    May 02, 2018
     Journalists in Turkey speak about the climate of fear on global day of action for World Press Freedom Day  Journalists & celebrities around the world join campaign co-organised by Amnesty International calling for release of more than 120 jailed media workers and denouncing politically motivate trials and sentences they are facing

    Journalists have spoken out about the stifling climate of fear that has enveloped Turkey’s media landscape, ahead of a global day of action to demand the release of more than 120 journalists still imprisoned since the failed 2016 coup.

    The journalists spoke of the challenges they face in the wake of the crackdown and the urgent need for international solidarity. Some spoke from jail. Others, including the editor-in-chief of the opposition daily Cumhuriyet, had just been sentenced. All are under under constant threat of arbitrary detention, prosecution and conviction for nothing more than doing their jobs or for expressing peaceful opinions.

    April 25, 2018

    A sustained and escalating crackdown curtailed the vital work of human rights defenders in Turkey and left swathes of society in a state of constant fear, a new report from Amnesty International has revealed.

    The report, Weathering the storm: Defending human rights in Turkey’s climate of fear, reveals how few areas of Turkey’s once vibrant independent civil society have been left untouched by the ongoing state of emergency.  A nationwide crackdown has resulted in mass arrests and dismissals, the hollowing out of the legal system and the silencing of human rights defenders through threats, harassment and imprisonment.

    “Whilst the jailing of journalists and activists may have hit the headlines, the profound impact that Turkey’s crackdown has had on wider society is harder to quantify but it is no less real,” said Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Gauri van Gulik.

    April 24, 2018

    At least 2,000 Afghans who fled to Turkey to escape conflict and the worst excesses of the Taliban are in detention and at imminent risk of being forced back to danger, Amnesty International said today. The Turkish authorities appear to be ramping up a deportation spree that has seen 7,100 Afghans rounded up and returned to Afghanistan since early April.

    The Turkish authorities told Amnesty International that all these returns are voluntary, and that the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR has periodic access to places of detention. However, in telephone interviews with detainees in the Düziçi container camp in southern Turkey, where at least 2,000 Afghans are believed to be held, Amnesty International heard how detainees have been pressured to sign documents written in Turkish, which they are unable to understand.

    April 05, 2018
    Letter from Taner Kılıç says solidarity actions “have lifted my spirits” Photographs and spokespeople available

    Ahead of today’s international day of action, marking his 300th day behind bars, the imprisoned honorary chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kılıç, has expressed his heartfelt thanks to all those who have stood in solidarity with him.

    In a letter sent from Sincan prison in Izmir, where he has been held since 9 June pending the outcome of his trial, Taner Kılıç writes:

    “Photographs taken from the actions organized under the hot sun, rain and the freezing cold have lifted my spirits and reminded me of the importance of international solidarity in the struggle for human rights.”

    In the letter, published today to coincide with stunts to demand his release by campaigners in more than 40 countries, Taner Kılıç goes on to say:

    March 20, 2018

    Following long-awaited landmark rulings today by the European Court of Human Rights which found that journalist Mehmet Altan and columnist Şahin Alpay’s rights to liberty and security, and freedom of expression, had been violated, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Gauri van Gulik said:

    “Today’s rulings are a resounding vindication for these two journalists and a damning indictment of Turkey’s justice system. That Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay were kept in jail on pre-trial detention for almost 20 months is not only unjust but also unlawful.

    “This ruling cements what was already common knowledge: that they – like more than one hundred other journalists in Turkey - were imprisoned simply for doing their important journalistic work.

    “Starting with Mehmet Altan, the doors of Turkey’s prisons must now be flung open allowing journalists, activists and human rights defenders including Amnesty International’s chair, Taner Kılıç, to walk free.”

    Background

    March 09, 2018

    Following a court ruling today that Cumhuriyet’s editor in chief, Murat Sabuncu, and prominent journalist, Ahmet Şık, should be released from jail, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Gauri van Gulik said:

    “After well over a year in prison on pre-trial detention, the release of these two journalists is long-overdue. The decision provides a glimmer of hope for the scores of other journalists behind bars in the country that has become the biggest jailer of journalists in the world.

    “As Ahmet and Murat are reunited with their loved ones, shamefully, their colleague Akın Atalay will be led back to the prison cell where he has been held for more than sixteen months.

    “Akın Atalay and all other wrongfully imprisoned journalists must be immediately and unconditionally released and charges against them dropped. It is time for Turkey to let journalists do their essential work freely.”

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

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