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Czech AI tries in vain to deliver petition for Turkish activist

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Prague, June 15 (CTK) – Ten representatives of the Czech Amnesty International (AI) tried to deliver a petition demanding the release from prison for Taner Kilic to the embassy of Turkey in Prague, but none of its staff came to receive it on Thursday.

The activists then cast the petition with hundreds of signatures into a letter-box.

On June 6, the Turkish police arrested Kilic, the head of the Turkish AI, on suspicion of a link with cleric Fethullah Gulen whom Turkish authorities consider the mastermind of the failed coup last year.

“There are 1,500 signatures on the petition that have been collected,” head of the campaign Martin Balcar said.

“The petitions for his release will be delivered by tens of AI sections across the world today,” he added.

In Denmark alone, the petition has been signed by 44,000 people.

Czech AI representatives will try and meet Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD). They will ask him to intervene in the affair on the EU soil.

AI said Kilic had been detained along with 22 lawyers in the province of Izmir.

The authorities made a search in Kilic’s house and office.

However, his detention does not seem to target AI, its activists said, adding that its general secretary Salil Shetty had still condemned the action and called for immediate release of Kilic.

At the end of May, AI questioned the reaction of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s regime to the attempted coup in July 2016.

Gulen is one of the critics of Erdogan, but he denies any involvement in the coup, indicating that Erdogan himself might have been behind it.

Gulen has been living in the U.S. exile for years. Ankara demands that Washington extradite him to Turkey.

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