Taner Kılıç: another day in prison, another day of injustice

5 April 2018 marked a sad anniversary. The Honorary Chair of Amnesty Turkey, Taner Kılıç, has spent the last 300 days wrongfully behind bars. But our fight for his freedom continues.

Amnesty activists around the world took to the streets, all conveying the same strong message: No one should be imprisoned for defending human rights. Our colleague, friend and human rights defender Taner Kılıç is innocent but he’s been in jail for 300 days. That’s 300 days too many.

Guerrilla stunt in Belgium

In Brussels activists drew tally marks on a board in a guerrilla stunt outside the Turkish Embassy, while Amnesty Portugal handed out chalk sticks in a public action. Their activities show the whole Amnesty movement is counting the days until Taner Kılıç is free.

“For 300 days activists around the world have campaigned relentlessly for Taner’s release. Today, we are out in the streets showing Turkey that we continue to keep count.”

Fotis Filippou, Amnesty Campaigns Director, Europe

Protests from Benin to South Korea

In Seoul, Amnesty held a silent protest outside the Turkish Embassy. Closely watched by the local police, activists took turns holding placards demanding the release of Taner.

Amnesty in Benin protested wearing T-shirts with the same call.

Man holding a sign behind fake bars, protesting the imprisonment of Taner Kılıç
Protest outside the Turkish Embassy in Seoul © Amnesty International
Five Amnesty activists (one woman, four men) stand in a line with their fists raised in solidarity with Taner Kılıç.
Amnesty activists in Benin wearing Taner T-shirts © Amnesty International

Importance of solidarity

People all over the world have sent messages of solidarity to Taner and his family. In a letter written from his prison cell, Taner explains the importance of such support.

“Photographs taken from the actions organised under the hot sun, rain, and the freezing cold have lifted my spirits and reminded me of the importance of international solidarity in the struggle for human rights.”

Taner Kılıç, Honorary Chair of Amnesty Turkey

More than a million people have signed Amnesty’s global petition calling for Taner’s release. The hashtag #FreeTaner has been used tens of thousands of times since he was wrongfully imprisoned in June last year.

Countdown continues

In addition to this week’s global action, countless protests have taken place all over the world – and they will continue. We won’t rest until our colleague and friend Taner is free.

Two Indian women standing side by side. One is holding a sign of a tally of the number of days Taner Kilic has spent in jail with the words '300 days, #FreeTaner' on it and one holding a sign with a photo of Taner on it that says 'Release Taner Kilic'
Activists in India demand the release of Taner © Amnesty International
A group of Amnesty Norway staff stand holding posters that say 'Free Taner'
Amnesty Norway staff and volunteers have a clear message to Turkish authorities: Free Taner! © Amnesty International

What supporters are saying

  1. Judith
    16 April 2018 | 8:37 pm

    I feel sad and angry that Taner Kilic has been imprisoned for 300 days for his work with Amnesty International. Even in Australia Human Rights are being eroded, I know how important it is to have people who are brave enought to defend these rights in countries throughout the world. Being imprisoned to working to uphold human rights is a travesty of justice in every country and will not improve life for people living in those countries.

  2. Jeremy Bennett
    6 June 2018 | 10:21 am

    Its terrible, he should be released at once! We will continue to fight to release him! #freetaner

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