Europe

Turkey jails Amnesty activists in 'terrorism' case

Taner Kilic, 28 Aug 18 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Taner Kilic has been on trial for three years

A Turkish court has sentenced the ex-head of Amnesty International in Turkey, Taner Kilic, to six years in jail on terrorism-related charges.

Another former senior Amnesty official in Turkey, Idil Eser, was jailed for two years by the Istanbul court.

Prosecutors allege that the two were involved in a secret meeting near Istanbul in 2017, which sought to foment an uprising and chaos in Turkey.

An Amnesty spokesman condemned it as "an outrage" with "absurd allegations".

Andrew Gardner, in a tweet, also said there was "no evidence" for the conviction. "The torment continues. We won't give up until all are acquitted."

Kilic and Eser say they were taking part in a human rights workshop when it was raided by police.

Two other human rights activists besides Eser got two years' jail for "helping a terrorist organisation".

Seven more activists, including Peter Steudtner, a German national, and Ali Gharavi, a Swede, were acquitted.

The arrests came amid a huge Turkish state crackdown following an abortive coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

Kilic, now Amnesty's honorary chair, was released on bail in August 2018 after 14 months in jail.

He is accused of links to the movement led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, which is branded subversive by President Erdogan and blamed for the 2016 coup attempt.

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