Lawyers in Turkey, February 2013

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses its concern about the arrest and detention of human rights lawyers in Turkey.  According to reports, 15 human rights lawyers were arrested in January 2013.  Nine of the lawyers are members of the Progressive Lawyers' Association (ÇHD), which is affiliated to the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights (ELDH).   The lawyers who have been arrested are known for their work in representing persons accused of crimes against the state and terrorism and members of minority groups. Reliable reports indicate that the lawyers are being targeted for their human rights work.

Recent reports state that some of the lawyers were released, however nine lawyers are imprisoned and awaiting trial: Güçlü Sevimli (member of the Istanbul Branch - Istanbul Bar Association), Barkın Timtik (member of Istanbul Bar Association), Şükriye Erden (member of Istanbul Bar Association), Naciye Demir (member of Istanbul Bar Association), Nazan Betül Vangölü Kozağaçlı (member of the Ankara Branch - Ankara Bar Association), Taylan Tanay (President of the Istanbul Branch - Istanbul Bar Association), Ebru Timtik (member of Istanbul Bar Association), Günay Dağ (member of Istanbul Bar Association), Selçuk Kozağaçlı (National President of ÇHD - Ankara Bar Association).  It is the Law Society's understanding that arrest warrants have been issued for other lawyers.  The nine imprisoned lawyers have been particularly active on human rights cases, especially in representing victims of police violence. 

Letter of intervention