Indictment of Turkish human rights lawyer

Who we wrote to

The president of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

What’s the issue

We’re deeply concerned about reports of the indictment of Orhan Kemal Cengiz, a well-known Turkish lawyer, journalist and human rights defender.

Mr Cengiz may be facing three consecutive life sentences (40 years each).

The charges consist of alleged attempts made by Mr Cengiz to “overthrow the constitutional order, the Turkish parliament and the Turkish government”.

The Istanbul Public Prosecutor requested 15 additional years of detention for alleged membership of an armed terror organisation.

Mr Cengiz represented the newspaper, Zaman, in proceedings following its closure by the state in March 2016.

We’re worried that Mr Cengiz might be prosecuted for no reason other than the exercise of his legitimate duties as a lawyer representing his clients.

What we asked for

We asked the relevant authorities to make sure that the indictment and proceedings against Mr Cengiz are discontinued.

We’ll continue to monitor the case in order to guarantee that all lawyers and other human rights defenders in Turkey can carry out their legitimate professional activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS