Call for international action for lawyer Even Keskin

The global network for defending and promoting free expression (IFEX) made an urgent call on May 3 for international action to prevent lifelong sentencing of Eren Keskin, a prominent human rights lawyer in Turkey.

Frontline Defenders, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, Netherlands Helsinki Committee, and the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders also signed the urgent call for Keskin, who is also an honorary member of the Paris Bar Council and the winner of multiple international awards for her peace and human rights work.

Eren Keskin held the title of 'editor-in-chief' for pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem newspaper from 2013 to 2016 and over 120 cases have been lodged against her in Turkish courts as a result. 

Six of these cases have resulted in court rulings with all appeal options already exhausted and fines of nearly €14,500 have been imposed upon Keskin. She faces 8.5 years of imprisonment if she fails to pay the fines. In 69 cases, Eren Keskin has been pronounced guilty but those are still under review before the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. Unless the decisions of the first instance courts are reversed, Keskin faces a cumulative sentence of 12.5 years and a fine of approximately € 93,000. There are still 47 cases against Keskin awaiting convictions.

Moreover, in February the legal team of the Office of the President of Turkey has filed an application to the Istanbul Bar Association to impose disciplinary measures on Keskin, which may result in disbarment. A travel ban has also been imposed on Keskin.