• Press Release

Turkey: Court defies logic as Amnesty Turkey Chair kept in jail

June 21, 2018

Activists of Amnesty International stage a protest against the detention of the head of Amnesty International in Turkey, Taner Kilic, in front of the Turkish Embassy in Berlin on June 15, 2017. Taner Kilic was arrested in the Turkish province of Izmir along with 22 other lawyers on June 6, 2017 and has been charged with membership of a terrorist organisation and remanded in custody pending trial / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

In response to the continued detention of human rights defender, Taner Kılıç, after the latest hearing against him, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General said:

“Today’s heart-breaking decision to keep our colleague in jail is yet another travesty of justice.

“After more than a year away from his family, and without a a shred of credible evidence presented to substantiate the absurd charges made against him, his cruel and protracted incarceration defies all logic.

“Earlier this month, any fig-leaf of legitimacy for the prosecutor’s case was stripped away with the submission of the long-delayed police report. By failing to find any evidence that Taner ever had the ByLock messaging app on his phone, the report removed the central accusation against him. A second police report submitted to the court this morning, confirmed that there was no trace of Bylock on Taner’s phone.

“This should have led to his immediate and unconditional release. But rather than celebrate their long-awaited happy reunion, his wife and daughters had to endure Taner being led away, back to the overcrowded cell where he has spent more than a year of his life.

“Taner’s situation is emblematic of what is happening in Turkey today. Many of human rights defenders are either languishing in jail or living in constant fear of arrest. We will continue to fight tirelessly on behalf of Taner, the Istanbul 10 and all those unjustly jailed under Turkey’s ongoing crackdown.”

The next hearing is scheduled for 7 November.


This morning a second police report was submitted to the court. This additional report had been requested by the court to clarify why there had been no finding about the presence of the ByLock messaging application on Taner’s phone. This second report confirmed the findings of the first report and that of four independent forensic analyses, which found no trace of ByLock on the phone.