Turkish court convicts four rights activists on terrorism-related charges

A Turkish court sentenced a former executive of Amnesty International Turkey to more than six years in jail and convicted three other rights activists on terrorism-related charges. (Photo: Amnesty International)
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Updated 03 July 2020

Turkish court convicts four rights activists on terrorism-related charges

  • Ten of the defendants were detained while they participated in a workshop on digital security held on the island of Buyukada

ISTANBUL: A Turkish court sentenced a former executive of Amnesty International Turkey to more than six years in jail and convicted three other rights activists on terrorism-related charges on Friday, the rights group said.
Amnesty Turkey said on Twitter that seven other defendants, who were detained three years ago during a crackdown following a 2016 attempted coup, were acquitted in a case which fueled concern over Ankara’s human rights record.
“This is an outrage. Absurd allegations. No evidence. After three year trial Taner Kilic convicted for membership of a terrorist organization,” Amnesty representative Andrew Gardner wrote on Twitter as the verdict emerged on the former honorary chairman of Amnesty Turkey.

Three other rights activists were sentenced to two years and one month in jail. Peter Steudtner, a German national, and Ali Gharavi, a Swede, were among the seven acquitted.
Ten of the defendants were detained while they participated in a workshop on digital security held on the island of Buyukada, off the coast of Istanbul, in July 2017.

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The prosecution alleged that the gathering had been a secret meeting to organize an uprising and foment chaos. It alleged they had links to the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of engineering the 2016 coup attempt against President Tayyip Erdogan.
Since the coup attempt, authorities have carried out a sustained crackdown, jailing about 80,000 people and dismissing 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others and closing some 180 media organizations. (Reporting by Ece Toksabay Writing by Daren Butler Editing by Dominic Evans)


Sudan says Nile dam talks delayed for ‘consultations’

Updated 10 August 2020

Sudan says Nile dam talks delayed for ‘consultations’

  • Talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan were suspended last week after Addis Ababa

KHARTOUM: Sudan on Monday said that negotiations over Ethiopia’s massive and controversial dam construction on the Blue Nile have been postponed for a week.
Talks between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan were suspended last week after Addis Ababa insisted on linking them to renegotiating a deal on sharing the waters of the Blue Nile.
“A meeting at the level of ministers of the three countries took place on Monday, during which Sudan asked to postpone the next meeting for one week for internal consultations,” Sudan’s water ministry said in a statement.
Egypt and Sudan view the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) dam as a threat to vital water supplies, while Ethiopia considers it crucial for its electrification and development.
South Africa, which holds the presidency of the African Union and is mediating negotiations, has urged the countries to “remain involved” in the talks.