The London-based human rights organization Amnesty International (AI) has launched a campaign for urgent action against the recent imprisonment of Taner Kılıç, a lawyer and the chairman of AI Turkey’s board.
AI kicked off the campaign on Twitter on June 14 to support Kılıç, calling for his release, with the hashtag #FreeTanerKılıç.
Since then, members of the organization have been sending messages of solidarity by taking photos with #FreeTanerKılıc signs and posting them on social media.
Kılıç is a founding member of AI Turkey and has been chairman of its board of directors since 2014. He has also played a strong role in advocating for refugee rights as a lawyer and with domestic nongovernmental groups and others working on these issues.
He is accused of using the ByLock smartphone application.
ByLock is considered by Turkish authorities to be the top communication tool among followers of the Gülen group, which is accused by the government of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen group.
The group denies any involvement.
Tens of thousands of civil servants, police officers and businessmen have either been dismissed or arrested for using ByLock since the failed coup attempt last July.