December 30, 2016
TUR 009 / 1216 / OBS 111
Arbitrary detention /
Denial of access to lawyers /
December 30, 2016
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Turkey.
Description of the situation:
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Dr. İştar Gözaydın, professor of law and politics and founder of the human rights NGO the Helsinki Citizens Assembly. She was also the Head of Department of Sociology at Gediz University, Izmir Province, until she was relieved of her functions on July 21, 2016, when the University was closed down under the State of Emergency.
According to the information received, on December 28, 2016, Dr. İştar Gözaydın was formally arrested on suspicion of “being a member of an armed terror organisation” on the basis of alleged testimonies from a secret witness and an intelligence report. Dr. İştar Gözaydın had been taken into custody from her house on December 20, 2016 at 6 am by the police of Financial and Organised Crimes Department of the Directorate General of Security with an arrest warrant issued by İzmir Prosecutor, and was brought on the same day to İstanbul by plane. She was detained at the remand centre of the police until December 28, when she was returned to Izmir by plane.
She has since been detained at Şakran prison, İzmir Province. Her arbitrary detention and judicial harassment are part of the FETÖ/PDY (Fethullahist Terror Organisation/ Parallel State Structure) Investigation launched in 2015 by İzmir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office and Organised Crime Bureau Prosecutor’s Office into Gediz University, targeting several academics, following July’s failed coup. The investigation is based on allegations that these academics are either members, or connected to terrorist organisations.
Furthermore, Dr. İştar Gözaydın was denied proper access to her lawyer during the first days of her detention. Indeed, although her lawyer was able to meet her on the second day of her detention, he was not able to access the investigation file, as it was restricted. In addition, the police took her statement only on the fifth day of her detention. Furthermore, to date her husband has been unable to visit her while in detention.