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Turkey: Four human rights activists convicted of terror charges in Istanbul02:34

Turkey: Four human rights activists convicted of terror charges in Istanbul

Turkey, Istanbul
July 3, 2020 at 17:58 GMT -00:00 · Published

Four human rights activists were handed sentences at an Istanbul court on Friday, bringing an end to hearings in the 'Buyukada case' during which the activists faced charges of involvement with terrorist organisations.

The former Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kilic, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison, while the others - Idil Esar, Gunal Kusun, and Ozlem Dalkiran - received sentences of one year and thirteen months each. Seven others who faced charges were acquitted.

A group of fellow aid workers held a demonstration outside of the courthouse in solidarity with the accused.

"The prosecution, which is responsible by law to ensure the fairness of trials and the protection of the defendant's rights, have requested instead the convictions of some of the defendants on the basis of the disproven allegations," said one protester.

Another added that the case was nothing more than a "mock trial" made to "send out a big warning" to other aide organisations and NGOs that their operations in Turkey are illegitimate.

All defendants in the trial were arrested in the summer of 2017, ten of them whilst attending a conference on the island of Buyukada in the Sea of Marmara.

Turkey: Four human rights activists convicted of terror charges in Istanbul02:34
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Four human rights activists were handed sentences at an Istanbul court on Friday, bringing an end to hearings in the 'Buyukada case' during which the activists faced charges of involvement with terrorist organisations.

The former Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kilic, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison, while the others - Idil Esar, Gunal Kusun, and Ozlem Dalkiran - received sentences of one year and thirteen months each. Seven others who faced charges were acquitted.

A group of fellow aid workers held a demonstration outside of the courthouse in solidarity with the accused.

"The prosecution, which is responsible by law to ensure the fairness of trials and the protection of the defendant's rights, have requested instead the convictions of some of the defendants on the basis of the disproven allegations," said one protester.

Another added that the case was nothing more than a "mock trial" made to "send out a big warning" to other aide organisations and NGOs that their operations in Turkey are illegitimate.

All defendants in the trial were arrested in the summer of 2017, ten of them whilst attending a conference on the island of Buyukada in the Sea of Marmara.

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