On Wednesday morning, eight human rights defenders, among them Amnesty International’s Turkey Director Idil Eser, were detained while attending a workshop, along with the two international trainers. For over 28 hours, no one including their loved ones, knew where they were being held.  Their detention has now been authorized for seven days, and could be extended for a further seven days without them being brought before a court.

Their lawyers have told us that the group are facing a criminal investigation on the absurd suspicion of being members of an ‘armed terrorist organisation’. With decades of solid human rights work between them, the accusations would be laughable were the situation in Turkey not so extremely grave for anyone who dares to criticise the government.

Idil’s detention comes less than a month after the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kılıç, was remanded in custody on baseless charges. Accused of supporting the Fethullah Gülen movement – an organisation he has openly criticised – Taner is now in prison, waiting for an indictment and a trial. This could take months. If found guilty of membership of the movement he faces up to 15 years in prison.

These detentions highlight the precarious situation facing human rights activists in Turkey – a country which has seen more than 50,000 people jailed in the crackdown that followed the attempted coup almost exactly one year ago.