Fighting for justice: Day of the Endangered…
We honour the courage and commitment of lawyers around the world who fight for justice, ahead of the Day of the Endangered Lawyer on 24 January.
Four United Nations special rapporteurs. We co-signed the letter with 23 other organisations and individuals.
We’re concerned about the arbitrary detention and long-term imprisonment of 18 lawyers from Halkın Kukuk Bürosu (HHB, the Peoples’ Law Office) and Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği (ÇHD, the Progressive Lawyers Association) in violation of fair trial principles and of their rights to freedom of expression.
The ‘trial’ of the lawyers took place in three hearings. Six of the lawyers had been held in pre-trial detention. The lawyers were convicted of terrorism offences linked to the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and sentenced to prison terms.
We asked the special rapporteurs to urge the Turkish authorities to:
We asked the special rapporteurs to intervene in these serious matters and to raise these issues with the Turkish authorities as a matter of priority.
September 2017 – 16 lawyers from HHB and ÇHD were taken into custody on the basis of allegations that they were members of or leading members of the DHKP-C
November 2017 – the chair of ÇHD, Selçuk Kozağaçlı, was arrested and remanded in custody
December 2017 – Yaprak Türkmen was taken into custody under the same investigation file before her pre-trial detention was ordered
March 2018 – the Istanbul Public Prosecutor prepared and issued an indictment
September 2018 – the Istanbul 37th Heavy Penal Court ordered the release of all 17 detained lawyers but less than 24 hours after their release, the Prosecutor’s Office objected. The court panel issued a new arrest warrant for 12 of the 17 lawyers
December 2018 – six of the previously arrested lawyers had been arrested again
March 2019 – the final hearing was held, where the lawyers were convicted of terrorism offences linked to DHKP-C and sentenced to prison terms