June 16, 2017
TUR 003 / 0617 / OBS 064
Arbitrary detention /
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Turkey.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Taner Kılıç, a founding member of Amnesty International Turkey, and Chair of its Board of Directors since 2014. Mr. Kılıç has also played a strong role in advocating for refugee rights as a lawyer, and among domestic non-governmental groups and others working on the issue.
According to the information received, on June 6, 2017, at 6:30 am, Mr. Taner Kılıç was detained at his place of residence by the Anti-Terror Branch of the Izmir police. The Turkish police searched both his home and office. 18 other lawyers were detained alongside with Mr. Taner Kılıç. The detention orders were issued referring to the ongoing investigation into individuals suspected to be members of the so-called “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation”, which the Turkish Government accuses of having instigated the failed coup d’état last year.
On June 9, 2017, the Turkish prosecution charged Mr. Taner Kılıç with “membership of a terrorist organisation”, namely the “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation”. At the court hearing, the prosecution pointed out as “evidence” of Mr. Taner Kılıç’s alleged link with the Gülen movement his alleged use of a secure mobile messaging application, called Bylock, that the authorities claim to have been used by members of the Gülen movement. Mr. Taner Kılıç denies ever having downloaded or used Bylock, and no concrete evidence was provided in court against Mr. Taner Kılıç.
As of publishing this Appeal, Mr. Taner Kılıç remains in pre-trial detention in Izmir.