After the arrests on Tuesday of at least 47 lawyers at Caglayan Court in Istanbul who were issuing a statement regarding the Gezi Park protests, the European Association for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH); the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC); and the Law Society of England and Wales have all issued statements in support of their colleagues.
All three statements are available below.
London – Düsseldorf, 12 June 2013
European Lawyers protest
AGAINST EXCESSIVE STATE VIOLENCE, MASS ARRESTS AND SUPPRESSION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS IN TURKEY
Yesterday, Tuesday 11 June 2013, shortly after noon, at least 47 lawyers (as far as we have been informed), were arrested and subjected to police violence in Çağlayan Court, İstanbul. They were sitting in the hall of the Court in solidarity with the Gezi Park demonstration, and were issuing a press statement. Most of them were beaten and injured by the police during the arrest. After their arrest they were brought to the Anti-Terror Branch of İstanbul Police Headquarters. They were detained in custody for several hours, handcuffed, waiting in a bus in front of the police station, before they were finally released.
STATEMENT OF CONCERN
London, 11th June 2013
INDISCRIMINATE USE OF FORCE AND THE ARREST OF LAWYERS IN TURKEY
The BHRC expresses its urgent concern about today’s arrests of a further 45 lawyers at Caglayan Court in Istanbul. The lawyers were attending the courthouse in solidarity with Gezi Park demonstrators who had been arrested earlier in the day.
According to the Progressive Lawyers Association of Turkey, the lawyers were in the process of issuing a press release relating to the protests when their arrests began. A video published online by Milliyet TV shows the lawyers, in their court robes, being roughly handled; some having their hands strapped behind their backs before being dragged onto a police bus.
The BHRC deplores the arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights defenders which is currently taking place in the context of the violent repression of peaceful anti-government protests across Turkey.
ISTANBUL LAWYERS’ MASS ARREST CONDEMNED BY LAW SOCIETY
11 June 2013
The Law Society of England and Wales has condemned the mass arrest of more than 50 lawyers in Istanbul.
The lawyers were taking part in a peaceful protest inside the Çağlayan Court, near Taksim Square, when they were arrested, detained and reportedly beaten by the police.
The lawyers’ arrest coincides with reports of widespread protests and police brutality in Turkey.
Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, president of the Law Society, said:
‘We are extremely concerned to hear about the latest in a series of mass arrests of lawyers in Turkey.
‘A trend appears to be emerging in Turkey with regards to the persecution of lawyers carrying out their legitimate duties. This trend is deeply worrying.
‘We are aware that in the last year, more than 60 lawyers have been arrested in Turkey. This suggests that judicial harassment against lawyers has became large-scale and systematic.’
Read the full Law Society statement on their website.