Amnesty International is demanding the immediate release of Tamer Kılıç, a foremost human right activist taken into police custody from his home last week along with 22 other human rights lawyers by the Turkish government.
The group is mobilizing support from the international community and other human rights group to pressure for the release of Taner who is a respected human rights activist and has worked with Amnesty International in Turkey for 15 years.
According to a statement signed by Fotis Filippou, Deputy Director Campaigns (EU, Balkans, Turkey), Taner and his cohorts were arrested under the allegation that they were part of the Fethullah Gülen movement fingered in last years botched coup in Turkey.
Some of the charges filed against the human right activists were that were members of the proscribed “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization” which the authorities blamed for last year’s attempted coup, an allegation Taner and his associates vehemently denied.
Amnesty International maintains that Taner had earlier criticized the activities of the Fethullah Gullrn Terrorist Organisation on several occassions, insisting that Turkish government could not find any other credible ground to arrest Taner but to associate him with the same group.
They maintain that their arrest lends credence to all the allegation from human rights group that the Turkish government had been involved in senseless clampdown and illegal arrest of innocent citizens under the pretext of arbitrary involvement in the aborted coup.
The statements from the prosecution on the arrest of Taner states “The prosecutor claims that “ByLock, a secure mobile messaging application, that the authorities say was used by members of the “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization” had been discovered on Taner’s phone”, but Tamer had denied downloading or use of BuLock, or being a member of the terrorist organisation.
According to Amnesty International, this set back to human right abuse takes place in the context of an escalating crackdown on human rights by the Turkish authorities where thousands of public sector employees have been dismissed and hundreds of journalists and media workers detained, media outlets and NGOs shut down by Turkish authorities.