2016/69739 No.

Fax Number: + 90 242 237 11 11 (Turkey)


Créteil, Barcelona and Amsterdam, October 24, 2016.

European Democratic Lawyers (AED-EDL) are very concerned about the news that the former director member of ÇHD Antalya – Çağdaş Hukukçular -Progressive Lawyers Association, the advocate Özden SALDIRAN was arrested 9 days ago, on the 15th of October. His home and office were searched. She’s still in police station and has not yet been sent to the courthouse.

Ms. Özden SALDIRAN is suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure. Without medical care the police custody may endanger her health.

It is clear that Özden Saldıran has no connection with FETÖ. The arrest of lawyer Özden SALDIRAN is another case against lawyers simply because they perform their professional duties. This arrest is part of a pattern of prosecutions for alleged terrorist offenses that the Turkish government brings against its citizens, including journalists, trade unionists, human rights activists, parliamentarians, academics and students who are committed to a peaceful resolution of the Kurdish issue and freedom of expression.

Since the government started operations giving as their reason the fight against the called Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), it is clear that they are using this as a pretext for oppression of organisations and individuals who have definitely no connection with FETÖ.

ÇHD is our partner in the struggle for the defence of Humans Rights. Since 1974, it has campaigned for respect and defence of human rights and the defence of oppressed peoples in Turkey. This is not the first case of government attacks against the dissidents. The trial of 22 other senior members of ÇHD has been underway since 2013. .

AED-EDL strongly condemns the arrest and detention of lawyer Özden SALDIRAN and demands her immediate release and the end of all unjustified persecution. AED-EDL demands furthermore that the Turkish government respects the professional work and role of lawyers, and complies in particular with Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as Article 16 and 18 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

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