Q - The third hearing in the trial of the Turkish Amnesty International leaders Taner Kiliç and Idil Eser, and nine other human rights activists, including the German and Swedish nationals, Peter Steudtner and Ali Gharavi, was held yesterday in Istanbul. After the court ruled in favor of releasing Taner Kiliç yesterday, he remained in detention following an appeal by the prosecutor. Does France have a response to that?
A - France was deeply concerned to learn that Taner Kiliç, the head of the Turkish branch of Amnesty international, was still being detained despite yesterday’s decision to release him. As we have done since he was arrested last June, we continue to demand his swift release.
The Consulate General of France attended all of the hearings. France is committed to everyone’s right to a fair trial. Once again we call on Turkey to abide by its European and international commitments on human rights and fundamental liberties.
France will continue to closely follow the trial of Taner Kiliç and the other human rights activists who are still being tried with him. NGOs such as Amnesty International are a vital part of any democratic society.
Following his meeting with his Turkish counterpart in Paris on January 15, the French President publicly stated that he had “brought up the cases of several heads of NGOs” and stressed that “our democracies must fully abide by the rule of law.”