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France urges release on bail of Turkey's Amnesty Int'l chief

PARIS, June 21 (KUNA) -- France on Thursday called on Turkey to release on bail Amnesty International chief Taner Kilic, who is on trial today for anti-State activities, along with a number of other human rights activists in that country.
The French Foreign Ministry issued a statement urging Turkey "to respect its commitments with respect to fundamental rights and freedoms," noting that Amnesty International contributed actively to defending those rights.
The statement also recalled the need for "a fair trial" in the case of the human rights activists some of whom who have been held for over a year awaiting trial.
"We call for the release of (Taner) Kilic, who is in provisional detention for more than a year despite a (court) decision to free him last January," Paris said.
The Foreign Ministry also noted that France was following this trial "with particular vigilance" and had ordered the French Consul General to attend the court sessions, a move usually reserved for French nationals.
The statement also stressed that during talks here between President Emmanuel Macron and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January 5, the French leader had publicly brought up the case of a number of NGO activists and had called for respect for the Rule of Law in the pursuit of actions against them.
Hundreds of thousands of people across a broad spectrum of Turkish society have been targeted for investigation and many for prosecution because of alleged links or support for a failed Coup d'Etat against President Erdogan in July 2016. (end) jk.mt