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Statement by the Tánaiste on decision at pre-trial hearing of Chair of Amnesty International Turkey

 

Statement by Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., following the decision at the pre-trial hearing of Chair of Amnesty International Turkey

 

Following the decision taken by the Turkish courts at the pre-trial hearing of Mr Taner Kılıç, Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, and ten other human rights activists in Istanbul on Thursday, 21 June, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., said:

"I was deeply concerned to hear of the decision taken by the Turkish courts to continue the detention of Taner Kılıç, the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, who has been held in detention since June of last year on account of his alleged links with the Gülenist movement.

We remain gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Turkey. The decision of the court in this case is a worrying one and is likely to impact negatively on democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and the rule of law in the country. Ireland has made clear our concerns regarding the proportionality of the Turkish authorities’ response to the attempted coup in July 2016, and regarding the scale of the arrests of human-rights defenders, journalists and political activists since this time. The dismissal of over 110,000 civil servants is another major cause of concern.

I call on the Turkish Government to respect the role that civil society and NGOs play in strong and stable democratic societies, and to ensure that full due process is respected in the judicial system, with each detainee having the right to a fair trial.

Together with our European partners, Ireland will continue to raise our serious concerns about government actions that undermine democracy, the rule of law, freedom of expression, including media expression, and human rights, including the rights of minorities, in Turkey."

 

ENDS

Press Office 

22 June 2018 

 

Note for Editors 

Mr Taner Kılıç, the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, was first detained along with 22 lawyers in Izmir, Turkey on 7 June 2017. Mr Kılıç was held on charges relating to membership of the Gülenist movement, which the Turkish Government classifies as a terrorist organisation.