TUR 003 / 0617 / OBS 064
Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment
Turkey
16 June 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Turkey.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Taner Kılıç, a founding member of Amnesty International Turkey, and Chair of its Board of Directors since 2014. Mr. Kılıç has also played a strong role in advocating for refugee rights as a lawyer, and among domestic non-governmental groups and others working on the issue.

According to the information received, on 6 June 2017, at 6:30 am, Mr. Taner Kılıç was detained at his place of residence by the Anti-Terror Branch of the Izmir police. The Turkish police searched both his home and office. 18 other lawyers were detained alongside with Mr. Taner Kılıç. The detention orders were issued referring to the ongoing investigation into individuals suspected to be members of the so-called “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation”, which the Turkish Government accuses of having instigated the failed coup d’état last year.

On June 9, 2017, the Turkish prosecution charged Mr. Taner Kılıç with “membership of a terrorist organisation”, namely the “Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation”. At the court hearing, the prosecution pointed out as “evidence” of Mr. Taner Kılıç’s alleged link with the Gülen movement his alleged use of a secure mobile messaging application, called Bylock, that the authorities claim to have been used by members of the Gülen movement. Mr. Taner Kılıç denies ever having downloaded or used Bylock, and no concrete evidence was provided in court against Mr. Taner Kılıç.

As of publishing this Appeal, Mr. Taner Kılıç remains in pre-trial detention in Izmir.

The Observatory strongly condemns the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Taner Kılıç. The suspension of procedural guarantees under the state of emergency further reinforces the risk of violations of fair trial standards. At this stage it is not clear whether there is a link between the remanding in pre-trial detention of Mr. Taner Kılıç and his human rights work as Chair of the Board of Amnesty International Turkey. However such a link cannot be discounted either, especially in the light of the work of the organisation highlighting widespread abuses during the escalating post-coup crackdown on critical voices from across the spectrum.

The Observatory calls upon the Turkish judicial authorities to immediately release Mr. Taner Kılıç and to end all forms of harassment against him.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Turkey, urging them to:

i. Release Mr. Taner Kılıç immediately and unconditionally, as his detention is arbitrary;

ii. Guarantee Mr. Taner Kılıç right to due process and a fair trial, including adequate access to his lawyers and to information about the judicial procedure against him;

iii. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Taner Kılıç as well as of all human rights defenders in Turkey;

iv. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at judicial level, against Mr. Taner Kılıç, as well as all human rights defenders in Turkey;

v. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, in particular its Articles 1, 6(a), 9, 11 and 12.2;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Turkey.

Addresses:

· President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Fax: (+90 312) 525 58 31
· Prime Minister of Turkey Binali Yıldırım, Fax: +90 (312) 403 62 82 Email: ozelkalem@basbakanlik.gov.tr
· Minister of Justice, Mr. Bekir Bozdağ, Fax: +90 (0312) 419 33 70; E-mail: ozelkalem@adalet.gov.tr
· Minister of Interior, Mr. Süleyman Soylu ; Fax: +90 (312) 425 61 30
· Ambassador Izzet Selim Yenel, Diplomatic Mission of Turkey to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium; Fax: + 32 2 511 04 50
· Ambassador Mr. Ali Naci Koru, Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 734 08 59; Email: mission.turkey@ties.itu.int

Please also write to the diplomatic mission or embassy of Turkey in your respective country.

***
Geneva-Paris, June 16, 2017

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT and FIDH are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
· E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29