Amnesty International chief visits jailed Turkey director in prison
ISTANBULAmnesty International Secretary-General Salil Shetty on Sept. 9 visited the organization’s Turkey director İdil Eser, who was jailed on “terrorism” charges two months ago along with seven other activists, being held in Istanbul’s Silivri prison.
Shetty told reporters outside the prison that Eser was doing well, adding that “the real issue is why she is currently imprisoned when they were not doing anything illegal.”
“These people are in prison only for their human rights work and should immediately be released,” Shetty said.
The visit, enabled by a private permission from the Justice Ministry, came three days after the Amnesty chief was not initially permitted the prison visit.
Shetty had applied for authorization to visit Eser in prison but he was not received at the prosecutor’s office there.
Eser, seven other activists and two foreign trainers were detained on July 5 during a digital security and information management workshop in Istanbul’s Büyükada Island.
An Istanbul court later ordered the arrest of the eight activists on accusations of “aiding a terror group,” while two others were released with a judicial control order and banned from traveling abroad.
Earlier in June, Amnesty International’s Turkey chair, Taner Kılıç, was also arrested on charges of having links to the Gülen network, widely believed to have been behind the failed July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
As Eser does not have any first-degree relatives, she is reportedly not allowed any visits other than a one-hour meeting once a week with her lawyers.
She is also not allowed to stay with two other arrested rights activists, Özlem Dalkıran and Nalan Erkem.