The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) again condemned Turkey on Tuesday for violating human rights by arbitrarily imprisoning the president of the Turkish branch of Amnesty International.
Unanimously, the seven judges, including a Turkish judge, of the judicial institution of the Council of Europe considered that Ankara had not had "plausible reasons" to remand Taner Kiliç in pre-trial detention in 2017. By doing so, Turkey violated Mr. Kiliç's freedom of expression.
He was accused of belonging to the Fetö organization, a movement led by the preacher Fethullah Gülen, established in the United States since 1999. Fetö is accused by the Turkish authorities of being a terrorist organization and of having orchestrated the July 2016 coup attempt.
The ECHR “concludes that there are no plausible reasons to suspect Mr. Kiliç of having committed an offence, both on the date of his detention on remand and after its extension”, she explains in a statement.
The pretrial detention of the head of the NGO lasted more than fourteen months and was extended several times until an assize court ordered his release in August 2018.
Taner Kiliç was then sentenced in the summer of 2020 to six years and three months in prison for “belonging to a terrorist organization”, recalls the court.
Turkey must pay the applicant 8,500 euros for material damage and 16,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage.
Regularly condemned by the ECHR, Turkey is also the subject of a rare sanctions procedure initiated by the Council of Europe for having remained deaf to requests for the immediate release of patron Osman Kavala, recently sentenced to life imprisonment.