A Turkish courtroom on Friday convicted Amnesty International’s former Turkey chairman, Taner Kilic, of membership in a terror group and sentenced him to greater than six years in jail.
The courtroom additionally convicted three different human rights activists — Gunal Kursun, Idil Eser and Ozlem Dalkiran — of charges of aiding a terror group, sentencing them to 2 years and one month every.
Seven different activists, together with German citizen Peter Steudtner and Swede Ali Gharavi, had been acquitted of the charges.
Ten of the activists had been detained in a police raid in July 2017 whereas attending a digital safety coaching workshop on Buyukada island within the Sea of Marmara close to Istanbul.
Kilic was detained individually a month earlier within the metropolis of Izmir.
Ten defendants had been charged with aiding terrorist organizations, together with the community led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen that the Turkish authorities blames for the 2016 coup try and has designated as a terror group.
Kilic was accused of membership in Gulen’s community. Gulen denies allegations that he engineered the coup try.
‘Crushing blow for human rights’: Amnesty International
Their trial heightened issues about Turkey’s therapy of human rights advocates and helped bitter Turkey’s relations with European nations, notably, Germany.
Amnesty International condemned the ruling as a “crushing blow for human rights and for justice” in Turkey.
“Today, we now have borne witness to a travesty of justice of spectacular proportions,” stated Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher who noticed the listening to.
“The courtroom’s verdict defies logic and exposes this three-year trial because the politically motivated try to silence unbiased voices.”
The 4 convicted activists, who had been launched from jail pending the end result, had been anticipated to enchantment the decision. All 11 defendants maintained their innocence all through the trial.
“This case has been a litmus take a look at for the Turkish justice system,” stated Gardner. “As such, it’s tragic to see the half it has performed and continues to play in criminalizing the act of standing up for human rights.”