The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has said that it is concerned with the reported allegations of torture and mistreatment against detained lawyers in Turkey.
In a written statement to mark the 2018 Day of the Endangered Lawyer on Jan 24, the IBAHRI’s co-chair Hans Corell said the institute is deeply concerned by the large number of individuals arrested in Turkey who are part of groups promoting human rights and democracy in the country, or who have been working on cases in which authorities were, to some extent, involved.
“This situation demonstrates a flagrant disregard for the rule of law and is a deliberate attack on human rights defenders and legal professionals. We call on the Turkish government to bring an end to this deplorable situation and to adhere to international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights, by which Turkey is bound,” Corell commented.
Since a state of emergency was put in place following an attempted coup in 2016, reports make evident that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have systematically targeted lawyers with 572 lawyers arrested, 1,488 lawyers being prosecuted, 79 lawyers sentenced to long-term imprisonment and approximately 34 bar associations shut down, IBAHRI’s statement noted.
“The IBAHRI is also concerned with the reported allegations of torture and mistreatment against detained lawyers, and urges the Turkish authorities to prevent any further forms of mistreatment and to immediately and effectively investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment,” the other co-chair Michael Kirby added.