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2017 sanchez amor lgbtIgnacio Sanchez Amor at the OSCE PA's recent Autumn Meeting in Andorra, 4 Oct. 2017COPENHAGEN, 21 November 2017 – Ignacio Sanchez Amor (Spain), Chair of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Committee on Democracy, Human Rights and Humanitarian Questions, expressed concern today over the case of Taner Kiliç, Chair of Amnesty International Turkey. Kiliç, accused of being a member of the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), is set to go to trial Wednesday.

“I am following the case of Mr. Kiliç and other human rights defenders closely and call on Turkey to fully comply with its OSCE commitments pertaining to the right to a fair trial. These commitments include the presumption of innocence and the right of defendants to mount a robust legal defense,” said Sanchez Amor.

He added that Kiliç’s arrest should be seen in the context of the widespread crackdown following the coup attempt of July 2016, which Sanchez Amor said has called into question Turkey’s commitment to due process. More than 140,000 officials have been dismissed or suspended from jobs in the civil service and at least 40,000 people have been arrested in the attempted coup’s aftermath.

“As previously stated, I am deeply concerned by the state of the rule of law in Turkey. The widespread arrests and dismissals of civil servants following the failed coup last year have given the impression that presumption of innocence was no longer the law in Turkey. I hope that my faith in Turkish justice is restored in the case of Mr. Kiliç, but am seriously concerned that he appears to be imprisoned not on actual evidence, but rather on innuendo,” Sanchez Amor said.

Kiliç was detained on 6 June 2017 and charged with being a member of FETÖ, and has since remained in pre-trial detention at the Şakran prison in Izmir. The case against Kiliç is reportedly based on allegations that he downloaded a secure mobile messaging application called “ByLock” onto his phone in August 2014, which is purportedly used by the Gülen movement to communicate. London-based Amnesty International has stated that no credible evidence has been presented to substantiate this claim. Should Kiliç be convicted, he would face up to 15 years in prison.

Sanchez Amor expressed his strong support for the work of Amnesty International in Turkey, noting that he met a representative and benefited from their input during his latest visit to Turkey in June 2017.

Sanchez Amor has participated in several high-level OSCE visits to Turkey since July last year related to the situation in the country following the coup attempt. OSCE PA leaders have consistently stressed their solidarity with the Turkish people in their fight for the preservation of democratic institutions following the attempted seizure of power.

Previous statements by Sanchez Amor regarding rule of law in Turkey are available here, here, and here.