World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Show trial of human rights activists begins in Turkey


Eyes of the world on Turkey as show trial of human rights activists begins

Trumped up charges against the 11 arrested in Istanbul exposed
Forensic analysis shows Amnesty Chair did not download Bylock
Spokespeople available on the ground for trials on October 25 & 26
Trumped up charges against 11 human rights defenders, including Amnesty International’s Turkey director and chair, do not stand up to the slightest scrutiny, said Amnesty International as court proceedings begin in Istanbul and Izmir.

The charges against them - carrying jail terms of up to 15 years and set out in two indictments to be heard in two separate trials – are entirely baseless.

“From the moment of their detentions, it has been clear that these are politically motivated prosecutions aimed at silencing critical voices within Turkey,” said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Europe Director.

“Without substance or foundation the Turkish authorities have tried and failed to build a case against İdil, Taner and the other nine human rights activists. It took the prosecutor more than three months to come up with nothing. It should not take the judge more than half an hour to dismiss the case against them.”

Ten activists, including İdil Eser, the Director of Amnesty Turkey, were arrested on 5 July, whilst Amnesty International’s Turkey Chair, Taner Kılıç, was arrested a month earlier. They are accused of “membership of a terrorist organisation”.
The charges against the 11 include outlandish claims that standard human rights protection activities amount to assisting terrorist organisations. These include appealing to stop the sale of tear gas, making a grant application, and campaigning for the release of hunger-striking teachers. According to the indictment, İdil Eser is linked to three unrelated and opposing terrorist organisations and some of the allegations against her refer to two Amnesty International documents which were issued before she even joined the organisation.

The prosecution unsurprisingly offers no evidence to support their allegations that the Büyükada workshop, where the arrests took place, was a “secret meeting to organise a Gezi-type uprising” or that any of the defendants were engaged in wrongdoing. Amnesty International has made a detailed analysis of the indictment, addressing each of the allegations made against the 11 defendants.

As well as the hearing against the 11 which begins in Istanbul today, Taner Kılıç will also appear at a hearing tomorrow in Izmir on a separate charge of “membership of the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation”.

This charge is based on the allegation that he downloaded and used the ByLock messaging application, claimed to have been used by the Gülen movement to communicate. However, two independent forensic analyses of Taner’s phone commissioned by Amnesty International found that there is no trace of Bylock ever having been on his phone.

The trials come as international pressure mounts on Turkey to release the human rights defenders. Worldwide protests marked 100 days imprisonment for ten of those arrested and the birthday of Idil Eser and last week, the secretary-general of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, the president of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and the Chair of the Human Rights Committee in the European Parliament, Pier Antonio Panzeri, all called for their release.
They join a long list of governments, institutions and political figures that have demanded their release including European Commission, the US State Department, UN officials, Angela Merkel and the German government as well as the Austrian, Irish and Belgian governments.
“These two trials will be an acid test for the Turkish justice system and will demonstrate whether standing up for human rights has now become a crime in Turkey,” said John Dalhuisen.

“If justıce can be subverted by a dystopian fiction woven from absurd and baseless allegations, it will be a dark day for Turkey’s justice system and a grim omen for the future of human rights in the country. With the eyes of the world on these courtrooms in Istanbul and Izmir the time has come for the long overdue unconditional release of our colleagues.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>


UN: Horn Of Africa Faces Most ‘Catastrophic’ Food Insecurity In Decades, Warns WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday that the Greater Horn of Africa is experiencing one of the worst famines of the last 70 years... More>>

FAO: Warns 90 Per Cent Of Earth’s Topsoil At Risk By 2050
A full 90 per cent of the Earth’s precious topsoil is likely to be at risk by 2050, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO...
More>>


Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>