3 human rights defenders transferred to Silivri Prison

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Amnesty International (AI) Turkey Director İdil Eser (L) and two other human rights activists, Özlem Dalkıran (C) and Nalan Erkem.

Amnesty International (AI) Turkey Director İdil Eser and two other human rights activists, Özlem Dalkıran and Nalan Erkem, were transferred from Bakırköy to Silivri Prison on Monday.

Six human rights activists, including Eser and German human rights consultant Peter Steudtner, who were detained on July 5 during a workshop at a hotel on İstanbul’s Büyükada, were put in pretrial detention by an İstanbul court.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Selina Doğan, who went to visit the three human rights defenders in Bakırköy Prison, found out they were being transferred to Silivri Prison.

Doğan, who spoke to Bianet, said: “Unfortunately they also learnt about their transfer to Silivri during my visit. They were surprised. They expressed concern about meeting with their families since it is hard to travel to Silivri. They said this was an intimidation tactic.”

According to Doğan, it is not known whether the activists will share a prison ward or stay in different wards, and the warden had said other prisoners were also being transferred due to a lack of space.

Turkey’s arrest of human rights activists received much criticism from European Union countries, further endangering Turkey’s membership accession and weakening its ties with Europe.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the human rights defenders of plotting a follow-up to a July 15, 2016 coup attempt during a press conference on July 8.

Taner Kılıç, a lawyer and chairman of AI’s Turkey’s board, was arrested on June 9, accused of links to the alleged mastermind of the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016, Fethullah Gülen, who has denied any involvement.

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