Turkey rejects initial appeal to release jailed US pastor

By Barbara G. Baker | World Watch Monitor

A Turkish court denied an initial appeal last week for the release of Rev. Andrew Brunson, an American Protestant pastor kept under arrest for the past three months over alleged links to a terrorist organisation.

In the wake of the 29 Dec. refusal to release Brunson, his lawyer confirmed to World Watch Monitor that while appeals and the government’s official investigation into the allegations against the pastor are continuing, no formal case has yet been opened against him.

Initially detained under deportation orders in the port city of Izmir on 7 Oct., Brunson was held in detention facilities without formal charges until 9 Dec., when he was brought to court for the first time for questioning. He was then ordered to be imprisoned, accused in writing of “membership in an armed terrorist organisation”.