Law Society statement…
We presented a statement on Tanzania to the United Nations and NGOs as part of the universal periodic review (UPR) pre-sessions.
The president of Turkey and the UN Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council
On 12 March 2020, the following lawyers were arrested in Turkey:
The lawyers’ homes and offices were searched, and certain documents seized in relation to an investigation carried out by the prosecutor’s office in Urfa.
We received reports that these arrests may relate to the work these lawyers have carried out as part of their professional duties.
The documentation that was seized related to alleged acts of torture and ill-treatment by Turkish security forces against the lawyers’ clients and others in May 2019 in some districts of Sanliurfa province.
It’s also been reported that those detained and tortured in May 2019 could only meet with their lawyer supervised by security forces, or were not allowed access to legal counsel at all.
We’ve been informed that most of the lawyers were released on probation after six days in police custody, except for lawyer Sevda Özbingöl Çelik who was remanded into pre-trial detention by Urfa Criminal Peace Judgeship.
In light of Turkey’s international obligations to protect lawyers, we urged the authorities to: