Turkish court rules to release Amnesty official
“We are overjoyed at this news. It has taken us more than a year of campaigning and struggle to get here, but it appears Taner will finally be freed. Whilst we rejoice at this decision, our celebrations will only truly begin when he is safely back at home in the arms of his wife and daughters,” said Amnesty International Secretary General Kumi Naidoo on the organization’s website.
Kılıç has been jailed since June 2017 on charges of supporting the movement of United States-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, who Ankara blames for a failed coup in July 2016.
Prosecutors say Kılıç downloaded ByLock, a messaging app believed to be a communication means used by members of the Gülen movement, widely thought to be behind Turkey’s failed July 2016 coup attempt.
A court in February ruled for Kılıç’s conditional release, but changed the decision later the same day following an appeal by a prosecutor.
Monthly pleas by Kılıç’s attorney were routinely rejected by the Istanbul court, before the Aug. 15 ruling for release was announced.
Kılıç is facing trial on terrorism charges as are 10 other human rights activists in a similar case. All deny the charges. The 10 others had been previously released, while Kılıç has remained in detention. 15 to release the local chair of Amnesty International after more than a year-long detention.