Free our 16 colleagues
Free our 14 colleagues, members of ÇHD (Progressive Lawyers Association), arrested in Turkey:
Didem Baydar Ünsal
We have been informed that our 14 of our colleagues have been sent to jail in Ankara, Istanbul and Diyarbakır. We are very worried about the situation of the lawyers Barkin Timtik, Engin Gökoglu and Ozgur Yılmaz.
16 members of ÇHD were arrested on the 12th of September in Ankara, İstanbul, İzmir, Ordu and Diyarbakır. We have been informed that our colleagues have been tortured. Our colleague, Engin Gökoğlu, who has been on hunger strike for 28 days, has been sent to the hospital after he severely beaten by police officers
The president of ÇHD Selçuk and Betül Kozağaçlı have not been arrested but we have been informed that their practice of lawyering has been limited and their phones and computers seized.
As we have been informed, with this last wave of crackdowns against lawyers, the number of lawyers under criminal prosecution in Turkey is now 1343. 524 of them have been arrested since the coup attempt in July 2016.
We urge the Turkish government to ensure that the 16 lawyers mentioned above are immediately released because we believe that they were taken into custody solely because of their professional activity as lawyers.
We demand to take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of lawyers in Turkey as well as their ability to perform their professional duties without fear of reprisal, hindrance, intimidation or harassment.
We express our concern over the situation in Turkey where the regime of President Erdogan harasses lawyers and pursues them by the tribunals, used as a weapon for repression. The lawyers seem to be purged because of the exercise of their duties as Lawyers defenders.
The AED finally wants to express its concern over the situation of human rights defenders in Turkey and emphasises the due respect for human rights and the rule of law. We are very concerned with situation of the persecuted lawyers.
Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona, 13th of September 2017.