Issuing a written statement, the European Union (EU) Delegation to Turkey has said that human rights defenders’ right to fair trial has to be ensured in line with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Underscoring that journalists, MPs, judges, prosecutors, academics, activists including Amnesty Turkey Chair and rights activist and business person Osman Kavala are still behind bars, the statement noted that independent judiciary and fundamental freedoms remain essential for the development of EU – Turkey bilateral relations.
The statement is as follows:
“Taner Kılıҫ, the Head of Amnesty International in Turkey, was detained a year ago. Mr. Kiliç is a lawyer and human rights defender and like him, many other human rights defenders such as Osman Kavala, as well as journalists, members of Parliament, judges, prosecutors, and academics remain in detention.
“The authorities in Turkey - a EU candidate country and member of the Council of Europe - need to ensure the right to fair trail, a legal process, on the basis of the principle of presumption of innocence and in line with the European Convention of Human Rights and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.
“Concrete and lasting improvements in the area of rule of law, independent judiciary and fundamental freedoms remain essential for the development of EU – Turkey bilateral relations”.
About Kavala and Kılıç
Anadolu Kültür Board Chair Osman Kavala was detained at Atatürk Airport in İstanbul on his return from a meeting of a project planned to be realized in cooperation with Goethe Institute in Antep on October 18, 2017, and arrested on October 31, 2017.
File of Amnesty Turkey Chair Taner Kılıç, who was arrested along with 22 lawyers in June 2017, was combined with the Büyükada case in October 2017. On January 31, 2018, release order was issued for Kılıç but a detention warrant was issued before he was discharged from prison. Taner Kılıç is still in prison as the only jailed defendant of the Büyükada case. (ÇT/TK)
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