Turkey slams German statements on arrested rights activist

AP , Thursday 20 Jul 2017

Human rights demo
Activists from the human rights NGO Amnesty International stand with their hands handcuffed as they stage a protest outside of the Turkish embassy in Paris on July 20, 2017 (PHoto: AFP)

Turkey says Germany's demand for the release of a German human rights trainer is "unacceptable" and an attempt to interfere with the Turkish judiciary.

In a statement published Thursday, Turkey's foreign ministry said they have kept Germany's charge d'affaires in Ankara informed of Peter Steudtner's case, adding "the independent Turkish judiciary must be trusted."

The ministry said statements by the spokesmen for the German chancellor and foreign ministry constituted "diplomatic rudeness" and said the judiciary cannot be instructed or counseled by anyone.

A Turkish court on Tuesday ordered the pre-trial arrest of four leading human rights activists, including Amnesty International's country director, Steudtner and a Swedish trainer, for alleged links to terror groups.

The foreign ministry accused Germany of a "double standard," saying it harbors members of terror groups and prevents their trial.

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