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RIGHTS >Germany calls on Turkey to release local chair, director of Amnesty International

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Amnesty International Belgium's Director Philippe Hensmans poses in a cage in front of the Turkish embassy in Brussels to protest against the detention of his Turkish counterpart Idil Eser. REUTERS photo

Amnesty International Belgium's Director Philippe Hensmans poses in a cage in front of the Turkish embassy in Brussels to protest against the detention of his Turkish counterpart Idil Eser. REUTERS photo

The chairman of the German Parliament Bundestag Committee on human rights, Matthias Zimmer, has urged Turkey’s ambassador to Germany over the detention of two human rights activists working for Amnesty International, calling on Turkey to release them.

The Bundestag said in a press release on July 10 that Zimmer sent a letter to Ambassador Ali Kemal Aydın calling for the immediate and unconditional release of İdil Eser, the director of Amnesty International’s Turkey office, as well as its Turkey chairman Taner Kılıç.

Zimmer said the allegations against Eser and Kılıç were “incomprehensible,” with their arrest being a “unique precedent.” It gave the impression of a “drastically worsening human rights situation in Turkey in the eyes of both the Bundestag Human Rights Committee and the German public.”

Zimmer also asked the ambassador to inform him about the health situation of both Kılıç and Eser in custody.

Kılıç was detained on June 6, 2017 in the western province of İzmir and Eser was detained on July 5, 2017. The latter was detained by police along with nine other human rights activists while attending a meeting on an island off Istanbul.

Kılıç was charged three days after his detention with “membership of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)” and remanded in pre-trial detention. 

Eser faces a criminal investigation on suspicion of being a “member of an armed terrorist organization.”

Meanwhile, activists in more than 30 countries on July 10 staged protests outside Turkish embassies demanding the release of Kılıç and Eser.

July/11/2017

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