April 19, 2018
The Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of Canadian lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law by providing support internationally to human rights defenders in danger, on Tuesday sent a letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül demanding the immediate release of jailed lawyer Mustafa Aydın and the provision of adequate medical treatment for him.
Underlining its grave concerns for the health, liberty and safety of Aydın, LRWC stated that “It is our understanding that Mr. Aydın is suffering from prostate cancer and a hernia, and requires immediate expert medical treatment and ongoing care to address his medical conditions and extend his life. LRWC urges the Government of Turkey to immediately release Mr. Aydin so that he can obtain the medical treatment and care he urgently requires.”
Aydın has been detained since August 16, 2016, and over a year later was charged under Article 314/2 of the Turkish Penal Code. LRWC also said that Aydın has not only been denied medical attention, he has also been denied the presumption of innocence, the right to pretrial release and the right to be brought before a competent court to determine the legality of his detention.
The Turkish government has prosecuted 1,539 lawyers, arrested 580 and sentenced 103 lawyers to long prison terms since a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, according to a report released by The Arrested Lawyers Initiative late March 2018.