PRELIMINARY REPORT BY JURISTS
BASED ON VISIT TO CİZRE
This study has been prepared as a report to present an updated and general perspective for the public on the human rights violations that occurred in Cizre, Turkey beginning on December 14, 2015. Reporting and documentation activities were conducted based on statements by the victims/witnesses who live in Cizre. In this preliminary report, we have included only some groups (women, children) and references to a limited number of cases that exemplify the nature and specifics of the incidents.
Subsequent to March 2, 2016, when entry to Cizre was permitted, lawyers of Libertarian Lawyers Association (ÖHD), Mesopotamia Lawyers Association (MHD), Asrın Law Firm (AHB), and the Foundation for Society and Legal Studies (TOHAV) entered Cizre to document human rights violations and legal processes.
A chronological segmentation of the curfews in Cizre, indicates that there were three periods of curfew up until the date of this report: Continue reading “Preliminary Legal Report on Human Rights Violations in Cizre since December 2015.”
A delegation of European lawyers will visit Diyarbakir from 21st to 24th January 2016. The 13 participants come from Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Austria. Two European lawyers’ organisations are supporting this initiative, the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) and the European Democratic Lawyers (EDL) and also the “Unione delle Camere Penali Italiane”
November 28, 2015
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), a non-governmental organization with consultative status to the Council on Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (ECOSOC), and the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy & World Human Rights (ELDH) are shocked and outraged by the brutal murder this morning of our colleague Tahir Elçi, president of the Diyarbakir Bar Association.
We welcome this action by ELDH European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights, in response to a call from the Diyarbakir Bar Association regarding the urgent situation in Cizre, where a curfew has been in place since 4th September.
Italian-based lawyer Ms Barbara Spinelli, will go to Turkey support the democratic forces in Turkey by attending a peaceful march to Cizre. She will monitor the situation there in order to produce a report addressed to European institutions and civil society, as well as to the organs of United Nations, especially those competent for protection of women’s rights. She will arrive tonight. She has been working for months on the situation of women in Rojava where she led a fact finding mission in March this year. Her report has been presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Here are the statements:
Tony Fisher, member of the Law Society’s Human Rights Committee, has written a report after observing the most recent hearing in the case of Abdullah Ocalan’s lawyers, who were arrested in November 2011 following simultaneous police raids across several Turkish cities. The arrest of these 45 lawyers, all of them members of Ocalan’s legal team, formed part of the so-called ‘KCK operations’, in which over 8,000 people have been arrested for alleged membership to the Kurdistan Communities Union, the KCK.
Many of the participants of the conference, which was organised by MAF-DAD and Azadi Freiheit, have also been a part of ajoint ELDH appeal which has been collecting signatures from lawyers, barristers and legal professionals who support the abolishing the ban. This campaign is still open, and lawyers from across Europe are encouraged to sign on.
In addition, the conference strongly asserts that the Kurdish people have a right to self-determination, and have taken this right in the establishment of an autonomous region in Syria – Rojava. It also calls on the EU to support the reconstruction of Kobane following a 6-month siege on the city by the so-called ‘Islamic State’.
News about the releases brought to you by Anadolu News Blog:
LAWYERS OF CHD (ASSOCIATION OF PROGRESSIVE JURISTS) AND PEOPLE’S LAW BUREAU (HHB) ARE FREE!
Exactly 14 months ago the Turkish state under the AKP government launched an attack against 22 progressive lawyers of CHD and HHB. 9 lawyers, among them the president of CHD Selcuk Kozagacli, were arrested, their other colleagues were charged out of prison.
The state doesn’t have anything against them, except of their professional work. This was proven at the first trial in December, where not the court judged the lawyers, but in contrary.
Like in roulette 4 lawyers were selected and set free during the first court session, while the other 5 remained in prison.
40 democratic lawyers from Europe and thousands of lawyers in Turkey supported their charged colleagues until the end. The matchless solidarity among professionals, but also the unbending and revolutionary attitude of the lawyers have apparently forced the state to release the lawyers as abrupt as they were arrested.
Following the publication of the EP’s resolution on the 2013 Turkey Progress Report, another European institution has put Turkey under the spotlight this week, the Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT). The CPT visited the island of Imrali in January 2013 and laid out their finding in a report, which is available to download here.
The CPT found that Abdullah Ocalan is being denied the same amount of open air time as the five other prisoners, and that he is not still allowed to have contact with them during his outdoor exercise despite earlier recommendations that this should be allowed. They add, “Out of a total of 168 hours per week, prisoners could stay outside their cells for up to 36 hours (22 for Abdullah Ocalan), but they were able to be in contact with other inmates for only 8 hours per week; in other words, they were being held in solitary confinement for 160 hours a week.”
The CPT goes on to say: “More generally, the CPT must stress once again that the regime applied to prisoners serving a sentence of aggravated life imprisonment suffers from a fundamental flaw and and should be revised not only at Imrali prison but in the prison system as a whole….as a matter of principle, the imposition of such a regime [of isolation] should not be the automatic consequence of the type of sentence imposed. The Committee wishes to stress that life-sentenced prisoners (as indeed all prisoners) are sent to prison as punishment and not to be punished within the prison.”
The report reveals the torturous levels of solitary confinement suffered by the prisoners, especially Ocalan. At one point in 2011, Ocalan was held in continuous cellular confinement for a total of 240 days as part of a disciplinary punishment, far exceeding the CPT’s owen recommendations to impose this kind of solitary on an inmate for just 14 days at a time. “Such a state of affairs is totally unacceptable”, the report concludes.
The Chair of Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers wrote to the Turkish Ambassador in London yesterday expressing concern over the continued imprisonment of lawyer and human rights campaigner Muharrem Erbey.
The letter was written in response to PEN International’s call to action for Erbey, whose trial is set to continue with a hearing on the 13 January. Find out more about the campaign here.