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Turkish prosecutors ask for rights activists to be held in custody

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - Prosecutors in Istanbul on Monday demanded that ten human rights activists, including the director of Amnesty International‘s Turkey branch, be held in pre-trial detention.

Idil Eser and nine others, including two foreign consultants, a German and a Swede, have been accused of supporting a terrorist organization without being members, Andrew Gardner, a Turkey expert for Amnesty, told dpa.

It was not immediately clear which terrorist organization they were accused of supporting.

The ten were detained on July 5 while attending a conference on digital security in Istanbul, a month after the chair of Amnesty International in Turkey, Taner Kilic, was arrested.

The rights group has called the detentions "a grotesque abuse of power."

Gardner said late Monday a decision on pre-trial detention - which can last for up to five years in Turkey - was expected overnight or on Tuesday morning.

At the G20 in Hamburg this month, President Recep Tayyip Edrogan said the conference at which the activists had been arrested had "the character of a continuation" of last year‘s July 15 failed coup.

As part of the state of emergency - which was extended for a fourth time Monday - in place since the coup attempt, dozens of civil society organizations have been shuttered and activists and journalists jailed.

Kilic has been accused of having connections to the movement of Fethullah Gulen, the exiled cleric whom Erdogan blames for instigating the coup.

German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for Germany‘s Die Welt newspaper, and German journalist and translator Mesale Tolu Corlu also are being held in pre-trial custody on terrorism-related charges.


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