Activists go on trial in Turkey on terror charges

Eight human rights activists on trial in Turkey on alleged terror charges, including a senior Amnesty International official, have been released on bail, the BBC reports.

Among those on trial are a German and a Swedish national.

They each face up to 15 years in jail on charges that include membership of and giving aid to an armed terror group. They deny the charges.

Amnesty says the case is a politically motivated attempt to silence critics.

The court order frees eight of the 10 defendants, including the director of Amnesty Turkey Idil Eser. The two other defendants in the case were already free on bail.

The defendants have been permitted conditional release during the duration of their trial pending the verdict. The next hearing is due to take place on 22 November.

Another activist on trial is Amnesty Turkey’s chairman, Taner Kilic, who was held in June in the coastal province of Izmir and faces charges in a separate case, which will be held on Thursday. Mr Kilic remains in custody.

On Wednesday, dozens of people gathered outside the court building in Istanbul. They held slogans that read “Free rights defenders”. Armenian Member of the Turkish Parliamnt Garo Paylan joined the protest.

Ten of the accused activists were detained in a police raid on 5 July during a workshop on digital security on an island off Istanbul.

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