Turkey court ‘reverses release’ of Amnesty head Taner Kilic

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A court in Istanbul has reversed its decision to release the head of human rights group Amnesty International in Turkey, ordering him to stay in jail during his trial, the group says.

Taner Kilic has been charged with membership of a terrorist organisation, an accusation the London-based group describes as “baseless”.

He was detained last June. On Wednesday the court ordered his release on bail.

His arrest was part of a crackdown after the failed coup attempt of 2016.

It was not immediately clear why the court reversed its decision, Amnesty’s Europe director Gauri van Gulik said on Twitter.

She wrote that the move was “devastating for the family and an affront to justice”.

Mr Kilic was accused of using an encrypted messaging application called Bylock that the Turkish government said was used by followers of the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen.

But Amnesty said two independent forensic analyses of his phone found that there was no trace of the application ever having been on his device.

Ten other activists are also on trial. They include the director of Amnesty’s Turkey office, Idil Eser, a German and a Swede, who were released last year.

 

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