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Court rules to continue pretrial detention for AI Turkey Chair Kılıç

Taner Kılıç

An İstanbul court on Wednesday decided for the continuation of the pre-trial detention of Taner Kılıç, chair of the board of Amnesty International Turkey who has been behind bars since June 6 over alleged links to the faith-based Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of being behind a failed coup last year.

According to the ruling of the İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court, Kılıç will remain in prison, and the next hearing will be held on Jan. 31, 2018.

Responding to the court’s decision John Dalhuisen, director for Europe and Central Asia, Amnesty International, said in a statement: “Today in court lawyers for the defense and an independent expert witness demolished the prosecution’s arguments. All the evidence shows Taner is innocent but this evening he was nevertheless sent back to the overcrowded cell where he has spent more than five months.”

The court’s decision to ignore this evidence and continue his detention flies in the face of reason. It is yet another opportunity missed to correct a gross injustice. We will continue to fight for his release and for the dropping of all charges against both him and the Istanbul 10,” he added.

During the hearing on Wednesday, Kılıç told the court that he has been held with 23 other people in an eight-person cell.

Kılıç, a lawyer, a founding member of AI Turkey and chairman of its board of directors since 2014, was arrested by an İzmir court on June 9 along with 22 other attorneys as part of an investigation into the Gülen movement.

Kılıç is a founding member of AI Turkey and has been chairman of its board of directors since 2014. He has also played a strong role in advocating for refugee rights as a lawyer and with domestic nongovernmental groups and others working on these issues.

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