Berfin Azdal, İstanbul - Sixth hearing of human rights defenders who are charged with “committing a crime on behalf of a terrorist organization whilst not being a member” and “membership in a terrorist organization” was held at İstanbul 35. High Criminal Court. The court upheld Amnesty Turkey Honorary Chair Taner Kılıç’s ban on leaving the country and adjourned the hearing until 21 March.
Amnesty Turkey Honorary Chair Taner Kılıç, Günal Kurşun and Veli Acu from Rights Agenda, Nejat Taştan from Association for Monitoring Equal Rights, İlknur Üstün from Women’s Coalition and defense lawyers were present in the hearing.
Lawyer Murat Dinçer: This trial is defaming our clients
Defense lawyer Murat Dinçer remarked that the existence of the ongoing trial is defaming the defendants and noted that the panel of judges is idle in following the documents and the reports in the case file.
Defense lawyer Oya Aydın noted that the state owes the human rights defenders an apology and criticized the anonymous witness statement that the trial is based upon by saying, “The investigation started with an anonymous witness throwing a stone down a well. There is nothing to be investigated. The proceeding has become a calamity for the defendants.”
Hearing adjourned until 21 March
The court decided to review the Turkey Işıkırık and İmret Turkey decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) that date back to 14 November 2017 and 10 July 2018, exempted Taner Kılıç from attending the hearings, however, upheld his ban on leaving the country. The hearing was adjourned until 21 March 2019.