A Turkish court ruled Tuesday that six human rights activists, including Amnesty International’s Turkey director, be formally arrested after weeks of detention for having aided a terror group.
It was not clear which terror organization they are suspected of helping.
Amnesty International condemned the decision, calling it a “new low in Turkey’s post-coup crackdown” and a “politically motivated witch hunt”.
“Today we have learned that standing up for human rights has become a crime in Turkey,” Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary-general, said in a statement Tuesday.
“This is a moment of truth, for Turkey and for the international community.”
Amnesty’s Turkey director, Idil Eser, Ilknur Ustun of the Women’s Coalition, and others were detained by police in Istanbul on June 5 while attending a workshop, and were denied access to a lawyer or the right to contact their family members for 28 hours, according to Amnesty International.
Ustun and three others have been released from custody, but are barred from traveling abroad and required to regularly report to police.
The crackdown by the government has resulted in more than 100,000 people losing their jobs and more than 60,000 jailed.