The Turkish Court of Cassation overturned the sentence of the former president and former director of Amnesty International, Taner Kilic and Idil Eserand two other defenders of the rights humans, Ozlem Dalkiran (in turn co-founder of Amnesty International Turkey together with Kilic) e Gunal Kursunthat in July 2020 they had been convicted in the first instance, on non-existent charges, in a politically motivated trial. This was announced by the NGO in a statement, specifying that Kilic’s sentence was canceled due to “incomplete investigations”The case was remanded to a lower court.
“Today’s ruling ends a travesty of justice of spectacular dimensions. We are relieved at the verdict, but regret that further investigations have been requested into Taner Kilic,” said Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general. For over five years, we have seen injustice at work despite various courts ruling the allegations groundless. Today’s ruling reveals what the true intent of a politically motivated prosecution was: to use the courts to silence critical voices.”
Kilic, lawyer in the matter of rights of refugees and current honorary president of Amnesty International Turkey, was arrested in June 2017 and detained for over 14 months. Despite the complete absence of evidence, in June 2020 he had been sentenced to six years and three months in prison for “belonging to a terrorist organization”. Eser, Dalkiran and Gunal Kursun, after spending three months in prison in 2017, were sentenced to two years and one month for “assisting a terrorist organization”.
Over the course of 12 hearings, all the evidence presented against the four defendants of the rights humans they had revealed themselves repeatedly and completely unfounded.
In May 2022 the European Court of rights humans he had claimed that the Turkish authorities had not “no reasonable suspicion that Kilic had committed a crime” and that his pretrial detention on terrorism charges was «directly linked to his activities as a defender of the rights humans».
«If today we celebrate the verdict of the Court of Cassation, we must not forget that throughout Turkey many defenders of rights humans they are either languishing in prison or living in fear of being arrested and risking prosecution based on unfounded accusations – commented Callamard -. We draw strength from today’s victory. We will stand by Taner until the end, we will fight against the relentless repression of the rights humans in Turkey and we will stand with those who refuse to be silenced by government threats.”