This week, a delegation of 27 bar associations, human rights organisations and legal groups representing eight countries gathered in Turkey for a fact-finding mission on the Turkish government’s treatment of criminal law and human rights lawyers.*
A joint statement by the delegation said:
“As the mission draws to a close, we are distressed that lawyers in Turkey continue to face ongoing harassment, arbitrary detention, unfair trials, torture and ill-treatment.
“Lawyers in Turkey are arrested, detained and imprisoned simply due to their legal work – including clients they represent and professional bodies to which they belong.
“Many of the lawyers we visited in prison are members of the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) and the People’s Law Office (HHB). They have practised in criminal and human rights law for many years and prove that the Turkish government is systemically targeting lawyers who defend the fundamental human rights of the people of Turkey.
“Furthermore, when these lawyers find themselves detained, they are denied the right to a fair trial. Many have been held since 2017/2018, following unfair trials and ineffective legal assistance.