International

Joint statement on Iran and Turkey to UN Human Rights Council

We joined with international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) for a session on the independent international fact-finding mission on Iran and Turkey at the 48th session of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.

What's the issue

We're concerned that Iran and Turkey are systematically criminalising and imprisoning lawyers as a strategy to deny human rights defenders and political opponents their right to independent, effective legal representation.

In Iran, lawyers Amirsalar Davoudi and Nasrin Sotoudeh have been subjected to:

  • arbitrary arrests
  • unfair trials
  • lengthy prison sentences
  • ill-treatment, including prolonged solitary confinement and denial of adequate medical care

Turkey’s hostile environment for lawyers and defenders, especially since 2016, includes:

  • arbitrary arrests
  • illegitimate charges
  • unfair trials
  • harsh jail sentences
  • ill-treatment, in disregard for the most basic principles of the rule of law

Turkey’s judicial and administrative harassment of the legal profession also includes denial of practicing licenses to future generations of lawyers and law students engaged in human rights work.

What we've asked for

We urge the UN Human Rights Council to call on Iran and Turkey to:

  • immediately and unconditionally release all those detained for performing their lawful work as lawyers and defenders
  • make sure they are able to carry out their duties without interference, intimidation or reprisals

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