The Turkish Court of Cassation, the country’s highest appellate court, Tuesday overturned convictions against four human rights defenders including Honorary Chair of Amnesty International of Turkey, Taner Kılıç. All four were formerly charged with terrorism-related offenses.
Amnesty International released a statement celebrating the overturning of the “baseless convictions.” Amnesty International also said the court’s decision “highlights once more the politically motivated nature of the prosecutions.”
The four activists were convicted of terrorist evolvement in the attempted 2016 coup. Taner Kılıç spent more than 14 months in detention for the “membership of a terrorist organisation.” While the other three, İdil Eser, Özlem Dalkıran and Günal Kurşun, spent over three months in detention for “assisting a terrorist organisation.” According to Amnesty International, 12 subsequent court hearings demonstrated that “every allegation levelled against the four human rights activists was repeatedly and comprehensively proven baseless, including in the state’s own police report.”
Amnesty International said, “[W]e will continue…[to] fight against the relentless curtailing of human rights in [Turkey].”