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Taner Kilic, the head of Amnesty International in Turkey (file photo)

A Turkish court has issued a ruling for the release from prison of Taner Kilic, the local head of Amnesty International, in one of several cases that have raised concerns about Turkey’s human rights record.

"Great news: The Istanbul court has ruled for the release of Amnesty Turkey Honorary Chair Taner Kilic," Amnesty researcher Andrew Gardner said on Twitter after the August 15 decision. "Expecting his release by this evening. Celebrations will start then."

Kilic has been jailed in Turkey's western city of Izmir for more than a year on charges of supporting Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric that Ankara blames for Turkey’s failed July 2016 coup.

Gulen denies Turkey's allegations that he ordered his followers in Turkey to stage the attempted coup.

Earlier on August 15, a Turkish court rejected an appeal for the release from house arrest of U.S. Evangelical Christian pastor Andrew Brunson and for his travel ban to be lifted.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and dpa
Anna Pavlikova, one of the accused, in a Moscow courtroom earlier this month.

Russian investigators have asked a Moscow court to transfer to house arrest a pair of Russian teenagers detained on charges of "involvement in a terrorist community” that had been set up by an undercover Federal Security Service (FSB) agent.

Attorney Maksim Pashkov on August 15 announced the move by the investigator in the case against the two members of the so-called "New Greatness" movement -- Anna Pavlikova and Maria Dubovik.

Pashkov is a lawyer for Pavlikova and Dubovik, who are both currently in pretial detention.

Pashkov said the court is expected to consider the transfer request on August 16.

On August 9, the Dorogomilov District Court in Moscow rejected a motion by the lawyers of the 18-year-old Pavlikova for her transfer to house arrest.

The lawyers said Pavlikova has a medical condition and must stay home for treatment.

The 19-year-old Dubovik has said she also has health issues -- including a tumor, problems with her digestive system, and a thyroid condition.

'Mothers' March'

Russian rights activists have also called for their transfer to house arrest due to their health problems.

But Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service refused to transfer them, saying they might flee the country or "impose pressure" on witnesses in the high-profile case.

Moscow residents protesting their detention while awaiting a trial have used Facebook to organize what they call a "Mothers' March" in Moscow on the evening of August 15.

The Moscow mayor's office on August 15 called upon the organizers not to stage the protest, saying it had not been sanctioned by city authorities and, therefore, "may pose a threat to public safety."

Two organizers of the protest, actress Yana Troyanova and journalist Anna Narinskaya, say police also visited them on August 15 to warn of possible consequences for staging a public protest that has not been approved by authorities.

Dubovik and Pavlikova, along with eight other members of New Greatness, were arrested in March. A total of six are in being held in pretrial detention while four are under house arrest.

Those charged in the case say they had turned their online chat criticizing the government into a political movement after the move was proposed by one of their members.

Later, it was revealed that the man who proposed the idea, wrote the movement's charter, and rented premises for the movement's gatherings was a special agent of the FSB.

With reporting by Novaya Gazeta.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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