Turkey extends detention of activists by up to a further seven days: Amnesty International
ANKARA – Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoTurkey has extended for up to a week the detention of the country director of Amnesty International and nine other people held in a police raid, the rights group said on July 11.
İdil Eser, director of Amnesty International Turkey, was detained on July 5 along with seven other activists and two foreign trainers during a digital security and information management workshop on Büyükada, an island south of Istanbul.
The police detention will now last until July 19, Amnesty’s Turkey researcher Andrew Gardner told AFP.
They then must appear before a judge who rules whether they should be formally charged and placed under arrest ahead of trial.
Eight of those detained are Turkish human rights defenders, including İlknur Üstün of the Women’s Coalition and Veli Acu of the Human Rights Agenda Association.
Two are foreign trainers - a German and a Swedish national - who were leading the digital information workshop.
They are accused of membership of an “armed terrorist organization,” an allegation that Amnesty said was “unfounded.”
It is also not clear which organization they are accused of belonging to, Gardner said.
Gardner argued the first part of their detention was illegal because they were denied access to lawyers for 24 hours, could not contact family members where they were and authorities refused to give their location.
“For them to be entering a second week in police cells is a shocking indictment of the ruthless treatment of those who attempt to stand up for human rights in Turkey,” Amnesty’s Europe director John Dalhuisen said.
Last month, Amnesty International’s Turkey chair Taner Kılıç was arrested, accused of links to the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is accused of ordering last year’s failed coup attempt.
Amnesty also dismissed the charges against Kılıç as “baseless.”