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.
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.
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.
What supporters are saying
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.
Its terrible, he should be released at once! We will continue to fight to release him! #freetaner