According to the White House, in today’s meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, Vice President Mike Pence expressed deep concern over the arrests of members of civil society in Turkey, urging transparency and due process in their cases. This is the first time the White House has commented on the issue of unjust imprisonment of civil society members in Turkey, which includes organizations like Amnesty International.
Ten human rights activists, including İdil Eser, executive director of Amnesty Turkey, were arrested on baseless charges on July 5. Taner Kılıç, chair of Amnesty Turkey, was arrested a month earlier.
“We welcome Vice President Pence’s support for human rights defenders in Turkey at this critical time, as the crackdown on civil society persists,” said Naureen Shah, senior director of campaigns at Amnesty International USA. “Despite dedicating their lives to defending human rights, Taner Kılıç and the Istanbul 10 still face up to 15 years in prison on absurd terror charges. We will not stop fighting until all charges against Taner Kılıç and the Istanbul 10 are immediately dropped.”