Stop torture of detained lawyers, International Bar Association tells Turkey

An international lawyers’ group called on Turkey to investigate allegations of torture of Turkish lawyers and release those detained for extended periods without due judicial process.

The International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) is “concerned with the reported allegations of torture and mistreatment against detained lawyers, and urges the Turkish authorities to prevent any further forms of mistreatment and to immediately and effectively investigate all allegations of torture and ill-treatment,” its co-chair Michael Kirby said.

“To this end, we call on the Turkish authorities to release, without delay, all those who have been illegitimately arrested or detained for excessive periods without independent, judicial supervision based upon credible evidence and lawful authority since July 2016,” he added.

The government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had “systematically targeted” legal professionals, the statement said, with 572 arrested, 1,488 being prosecuted, 79 sentenced to long-term imprisonment and around 34 bar associations shut down.

“This situation demonstrates a flagrant disregard for the rule of law and is a deliberate attack on human rights defenders and legal professionals,” co-chair Hans Corell said.

“We call on the Turkish government to bring an end to this deplorable situation and to adhere to international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention on Human Rights, by which Turkey is bound.”