June 8, 2017
The United States on Wednesday expressed “deep concern” about the recent detention of Taner Kılıç, the chair of Amnesty International Turkey, as part of a witch-hunt targeting people linked to the Gülen movement.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the recent detention of Taner Kiliç, Chair of Amnesty International Turkey — the latest in a series of respected human rights defenders, journalists, academics, and activists detained in Turkey,” US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement.
Underlining that these detentions, often with little evidence or transparency, are an alarming trend, Nauert said: “We are closely following these cases, and underscore the importance of respect for due process and individual rights, as enshrined in the Turkish Constitution and consistent with Turkey’s own international commitments.”
Nauert repeated the US position that “persistent curbs on free speech and other freedoms erode the foundations of democratic society.”
“Turkey benefits from having more engaged voices, not fewer. The detentions of individuals such as Mr. Kilic chill public debate and undermine the quality of democracy.”
Kılıç was detained at his home in the western Turkish city of Izmir along with 22 other attorneys.
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