Ahead of today’s international day of action, marking his 300th day behind bars, the imprisoned honorary chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kılıç, has expressed his heartfelt thanks to all those who have stood in solidarity with him.
In a letter sent from Şakran prison in Izmir, where he has been held since 9 June pending the outcome of his trial, Taner Kılıç writes:
“Photographs taken from the actions organized under the hot sun, rain and the freezing cold have lifted my spirits and reminded me of the importance of international solidarity in the struggle for human rights.”
In the letter, published today to coincide with stunts to demand his release by campaigners in more than 40 countries, Taner Kılıç goes on to say:
“In prison it is easy to feel that you will be forgotten, even by your nearest and dearest. But for me, rather than being forgotten, my situation has become known both in Turkey and beyond…I would like to thank everyone who has shown their solidarity for me: supporters and volunteers around the world. You’re always in my mind and prayers.”
Actions around the world today will include a guerrilla graffiti stunt in Belgium, candle-lit vigils in Chile, the release of 300 hundred of balloons in Switzerland and a photo stunt in Mali.
“Three hundred days after he was imprisoned on false charges, people around the globe are coming together to demand an end to this miscarriage of justice and the immediate release of Taner Kılıç,” said Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Europe Director.
“No evidence has been presented by the prosecution to substantiate the absurd charges against Taner. Incredible as this may seem, he is just one of many in a similar situation and is a potent symbol of the deliberate dismantling civil society during the crackdown.”