January 30, 2017
The Law Society of Upper Canada * expresses grave concern about the arrest of lawyer Levent Piskin in Turkey .
It has come to our attention that Levent Piskin , a human rights lawyer, was arrested by the Turkish police on November 14, 2016 . He is alleged to have conveyed messages from his client, Selahattin Demirtas , to the German publication Der Spiegel .
Although reports indicate that Levent Piskin was, on November 16, 2016 , provisionally released pending the end of the investigation, we are concerned that the basis for his arrest remains unclear as no formal charges have been brought against him.
The Law Society of Upper Canada urges the government of Turkey to comply with Turkey’s obligations under international human rights laws, including the United Nations’ Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.
Article 1 of the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers states:
All persons are entitled to call upon the assistance of a lawyer of their choice to protect and establish their rights and to defend them in all stages of criminal proceedings.