Following a request by the State Prosecutor for the conviction of Amnesty Turkey’s honorary chair, Taner Kılıç, former director İdil Eser and four other human rights defenders on terrorism-related charges, Marie Struthers, Europe, Director for Amnesty International, said:
“Today’s vindictive request by the State Prosecutor for jail terms of up to 15 years ignores the evidence and defies all logic.
“The terrorist allegations made against Taner, İdil and four others have been repeatedly disproven over the course of nine previous hearings and it is clear today, as it has been from the start, that the Istanbul 10 and Taner are on trial for nothing more than their human rights work. They must be acquitted.”
If convicted, they risk up to 15 years imprisonment. The next, and presumably final trial hearing, is set to take place on February 19, 2020.
The State Prosecutor requested the conviction of Taner Kılıç on the allegation of “membership of a terrorist organization” and İdil Eser, Günal Kurşun, Özlem Dalkıran, Nejat Taştan and Veli Acu on “assisting a terrorist organization without being a member”. The State Prosecutor requested that Ali Gharavi, İlknur Üstün, Nalan Erkem, Peter Steudtner and Şeyhmus Özbekli be acquitted.
Three of the human rights defenders on trial who are lawyers (Taner Kılıç, Nalan Erkem and Şeyhmus Özbekli) could also lose their licences to practice law after a conviction for a terrorism-related offence.