After being released last week, the journalist/novelist Ahmet Altan was taken into custody again yesterday with the order of a Turkish judge.
Last week he was found guilty of terrorism guilty of terrorism charges and sentenced more than 10 years in jail, and after spending 1138 days behind the bars, he was released for the time served while his case was under appeal. This incident shows that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government will continue to punish political dissent.
“Mr. Altan was taken by the police from his home in Istanbul Tuesday night. His lawyer, Figen Calikusu,said that neither she nor her client had been informed of the latest court decision to detain him again. ‘We again learned about the decision from the media,’ Ms. Calikusu wrote on Twitter. ‘The law is buried under cement.’ A newly appointed judge in Istanbul sided with prosecutors on Tuesday and ordered Mr. Altan’s rearrest, a day after another court had rejected the prosecutors’ arguments” says the New York Times.
Following this scandalous incident, Amnesty International’s Europe Director Marie Struthers said. “He was prosecuted, jailed and convicted without a shred of evidence, purely because of his opinions. It is impossible to see this decision as anything other than further punishment for his determination not be silenced and it compounds an already shocking catalogue of injustice he has been subjected to. Ahmet Altan has committed no crime. He was released last Monday, following a unanimous court decision. His three years of pre-trial detention are a travesty of justice as is the sentence imposed on him. This judicial farce, emblematic of a period where politically motivated show trials have become the norm, must be brought to an end. Ahmet Altan must be allowed to remain at home with his family and to have his absurd conviction quashed.”