The chairman of Amnesty International Turkey,Taner Kiliç, was re-arrested February 1st, less than one day after a court had ordered his conditional release from pre-trial detention. Following an overnight appeal by the prosecutor, the original court reversed the decision and returned him to prison.
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said that the United States “is closely following the [Kiliç] case, along with those against other respected human rights defenders, journalists, civil society leaders, and opposition politicians whose ongoing prosecution under the state of emergency has chilled freedom of expression and raises serious concerns about respect for judicial independence and the due process protections enshrined in the Turkish constitution."
”We call on the Turkish Government to end the protracted state of emergency, to release those detained arbitrarily under the emergency authorities, and to safeguard the rule of law consistent with Turkey’s own domestic and international obligations and commitments.”
Mr. Kiliç has been in pretrial detention since June 2017 on charges that he is a member of a terrorist organization -- charges which he denies and which human rights monitors say are spurious. Along with other human rights defenders, he was arrested under the authority of Turkey’s state of emergency which has been renewed every three months since the attempted military coup against the Erdoğan government in 2016. It was renewed for an additional three month period for a sixth time in January 2018.
Since the coup, at least 50,000 people have been arrested, and a reported 140,000, including many from the police, army and judiciary, have lost their jobs. Human rights monitors have expressed concern over a crackdown on freedom of expression and a failure to observe due process in Turkey.