An Istanbul court on Thursday ordered the rearrest of Taner Kılıç, the chairman of the Turkish Chapter of Amnesty International [advocacy website], hours after he was released [JURIST report].
Kılıç’s rearrest follows an Istanbul trial court’s decision on Wednesday to conditionally release him from pre-trial detention. Upon the prosecutor’s appeal of the decision, a second unidentified tribunal reversed and ordered that Kılıç’s detention be continued.
Kılıç was among the “Istanbul 10,” a group of 10 human rights activists who were arrested last summer [JURIST report] by the government for allegedly downloading ByLock, a messaging application with suspected ties to Fethullah Gülen [official website], who the government has accused [JURIST report] of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [official website, in Turkish]. Gülen, who has been living in Pennsylvania in self-imposed exile since 1999, has thus far denied any involvement in the coup.
AI Secretary General Salil Shetty condemned [AI report] Kılıç’s rearrest as a “malicious … travesty of justice of spectacular proportions” and demanded that he be released immediately. AI appealed [press release] to the public to write to the Turkish Justice Minister demanding Kılıç’s release:
Yesterday, we told you that our dear colleague Taner Kılıç had finally been released after 8 gruelling months in jail. We said this because it’s what the court ruled. But while Taner’s family excitedly waited for him to walk out of prison and into their arms, he was re-arrested and taken back into custody. The case continues in a local court today. This is hugely upsetting and disappointing – and completely unacceptable. Now we need to come together, to show our strength and power. Please email the Turkish Minister of Justice now demanding Taner is freed.