Turkey’s official news agency says Amnesty International’s chairman in the country has been formally arrested pending trial on charges of membership in a terror group. Anadolu news agency reported early Saturday that lawyer Taner Kilic was ordered arrested in the western province of Izmir along with five other attorneys who are accused of using an encrypted communication program. Kilic was detained Tuesday.
ByLock is allegedly used by the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey blames for orchestrating last summer’s coup attempt.
Amnesty International called Kilic’s arrest a “devastating injustice.” Its secretary general Salil Shetty said the case is proof of Turkey’s arbitrary and sweeping crackdown in the aftermath of the failed coup. More than 50,000 people have been arrested for alleged links to Gulen since last summer.