Turkey must abandon a politically motivated show trial of a group of peaceful activists charged with organizing “unlawful” protests that swept the country a year ago, said Amnesty International.
Members of the Taksim Solidarity group, whose trial in Istanbul begins today, face up to 15 and a half years in jail.
“This is a vindictive, politically motivated show trial without a shred of evidence of actual crimes. It should be stopped at the first hearing,” said Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey.
“The prosecution has concocted a case simply to send a strong message to the rest of Turkey that the authorities will ruthlessly pursue anyone who dissents and organizes protests against government policies.”
Taksim Solidarity is a coalition of more than 100 organizations including architects, engineers, doctors, trade unionists and others. It was established in 2012, to contest plans for the Taksim Square and Gezi Park urban development project in Istanbul.