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Reversal of Turkish decision to release activist undermines justice - EU statement

European High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini gives a press statement during a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Brussels, Belgium, January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

(reuters_tickers)

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union warned Ankara on Friday that a Turkish court's decision to overturn its release of a local rights activist damaged the country's standing, saying the need to uphold court judgements was crucial for better EU-Turkey ties.

In a statement, the EU said the reversal of the release the chairman of the local arm of Amnesty International, Taner Kilic, was one of the "worrying developments undermining the rule of law and independence and impartiality of the judiciary in Turkey."

"The non-implementation of judgements ... risks setting an unfortunate precedent as it casts serious doubts about the existence of effective legal remedy," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner Johannes Hahn said in a statement.

"Concrete and lasting improvements in the area of rule of law and fundamental freedoms remain essential to the prospects of EU-Turkey relations," they said.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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