Turkey: Released Amnesty Chair hopes justice will prevail for all victims of politically motivated prosecutions

17 August 2018, 09:39 UTC | Turkey
© Amnesty International

Taner Kılıç, the Honorary Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, who was released yesterday after more than fourteen months behind bars, has thanked his supporters and said he hopes the campaign for his release helps to highlight the situation facing other victims of politically motivated prosecutions in Turkey.

Taner, whose trial will resume on 7 November, was reunited with his family late yesterday after being released by a court in Istanbul.

"The campaign for my release has helped to shine a light on all those people who have been the victims of politically motivated, unfair prosecutions in Turkey.” 

Taner Kılıç

“I think the campaign for my release has helped to shine a light on all those people who have been the victims of politically motivated, unfair prosecutions in Turkey,” said Taner Kılıç.

“I hope that justice will prevail and that everyone will be given a fair trial.”

Taner was arrested in June 2017 on baseless charges of “membership of a terrorist organization”. He was accused of using an encrypted messaging app called ByLock, which the Turkish government said was used by members of the banned Fetullah Gülen group. Two police reports and four independent forensic analyses found no trace of ByLock on his phone.

“Despite the fact that there was not a single reason for my imprisonment, I was jailed for more than 14 months. I was jailed despite the fact that I did not use ByLock. I hope it was not for nothing, that the awareness generated around the world will help others face fair trials in Turkey,” said Taner.

He also expressed his thanks for the international solidarity shown towards him.

“While in prison, these actions lifted my spirit and reminded me of the importance of international solidarity in the struggle for human rights.”

Taner Kılıç

“To everyone who sent me countless letters from around the world – cards from Canada to Japan, from Norway to Benin – I want to express my deep gratitude,” Taner said.

“While in prison, these actions lifted my spirit and reminded me of the importance of international solidarity in the struggle for human rights.”

“Fourteen months behind bars feels like a very long time. I am still feeling a little stunned. I think it will take me some time to process it, but this is the best Eid celebration we could have hoped for.”

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