Turkish chair of Amnesty International held in custody: rights group

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 01, 2018 2:20 AM

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The jailed chairman of the Turkish branch of Amnesty International, Taner Kilic, remains in detention despite a court ruling for his release and will appear in court on Thursday, the rights group said.

A Turkish court on Wednesday had ordered Kilic's conditional release while his trial on terrorism charges continues. The charges against Kilic and other human rights workers have drawn criticism from the European Union and United States.

Kilic was transferred from Izmir prison, where he had been held for almost eight months, into gendarmerie custody because of an arrest warrant against him, Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s Europe Director said on Twitter.

Van Gulik did not say whether Kilic faced fresh charges under the arrest warrant, or whether it was the result of the appeal by the prosecution against the order for his release.

"Amnesty International witnessed Taner being taken from the Izmir prison into Gendarmerie custody to a station nearby," Van Gulik said. "While no formal decision was communicated to lawyers, gendarmerie said there is an arrest warrant out for him."

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Van Gulik also said that the gendarmerie confirmed that Kilic will be taken to a local court in Izmir on Thursday morning.

Prosecutors say Kilic downloaded ByLock, a messaging application used by supporters of Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Muslim cleric blamed by Turkey for a failed military coup in 2016. Kilic denies the terrorism charges.

(Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Dominic Evans)