Amnesty International said on Tuesday truth and justice had become ''total strangers'' in Turkey after its local director and five other activists were remanded in custody on accusations of belonging to a terrorist organisation. Emily Wither reports.
Turkey's local director of Amnesty international and five other human rights activists have been remanded in custody in Istanbul. They stand accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation. The director, Idil Eser, was one of a group of activists, including a German and a Swedish national, detained on July 5. They were attending a workshop on digital security and information management near the city. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has called their meeting a continuation of last year's attempted coup. Amnesty International says it's clear truth and justice have become "total strangers" in Turkey. Speaking outside the court, Andrew Gardner, from the human rights group, says it's a warning to everyone that they're no longer safe: (SOUNDBITE) (Turkey) RESEARCHER AT AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL TURKEY, ANDREW GARDNER SAYING: "It is essentially criminalising all the work we do. It is not just a threat against these 10 individuals but it's a threat against all of us, the human rights movement in Turkey. It is a very dark day for the Turkish justice system. It is again proved that the law is not being followed." The arrests come a month after the group's local board chairman was also detained on the same charge. It's all part of a sweeping crackdown triggered by last July's failed coup that's seen more than 50,000 people detained. The authorities say the arrests are necessary to ensure national security.