October 25, 2017 / 9:13 PM / a year ago

Turkey court releases eight activists on bail in terrorism case

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered the release on bail of eight defendants, including the director of the local branch of Amnesty International and two foreign nationals, pending the verdict in their on-going trial on terrorism charges.

Placards left by rights activists are pictured outside the Justice Palace during the opening hearing of the trial of eleven human rights activists accused of terrorism charges, in Istanbul, Turkey, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

The next hearing is set for Nov.22.

The trial of the 11 activists, who face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty, has become a flashpoint in Turkey’s tension with Europe.

Most them were detained in July after participating in a workshop on digital security held on island off the coast of Istanbul. The prosecutor has alleged a range of charges, including the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the network of the U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of engineering last year’s coup attempt.

Two of the activists were released on bail prior to the start of Wednesday’s trial. Another, the chairman of Amnesty International’s local arm, is being held in the coastal province of Izmir where he faces charges in an additional case.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by DAvid Dolan

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