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Turkey Convicts 4 Human Rights Activists on Terror Charges

Turkey Convicts 4 Human Rights Activists on Terror Charges

Saturday, 4 July, 2020 - 05:30
Turkish soldiers walk outside the Silivri Prison and Courthouse complex during the first trial related to Turkey's failed coup, in Istanbul, Turkey, December 27, 2016.
Ankara - Saeed Abdulrazek

A Turkish court on Friday sentenced four rights activists, including two Amnesty International leaders on terrorism-related charges.

The court in Istanbul convicted Amnesty International’s former Turkey chairman, Taner Kilic, of membership in a terror organization and sentenced him to more than six years in prison.

Idil Eser, former Amnesty Turkey director, was among three people sentenced to 25 months for "helping a terrorist organization.”

The court acquitted seven other activists including Peter Steudtner, a German citizen, and Ali Gharavi, who is Swedish.

Ten of the defendants were detained while they participated in a workshop on digital security on the island of Buyukada, near Istanbul, in July 2017.

The prosecution alleged the gathering had been a secret meeting to organize an uprising and foment chaos. It alleged they had links to the network of cleric Gulen, who denies he was involved in the 2016 coup attempt.

The 11th activist, Kilic, was detained separately a month earlier in the city of Izmir.

Amnesty said in a statement that “the court’s verdict defies logic and exposes this three-year trial as the politically motivated attempt to silence independent voices.”

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