The three-day hearing of the ÇHD case began today at the Silivri Prison Complex in İstanbul.
Several lawyers’ groups from around the world, including France’s National Bar Council and bar associations of Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels and Bologna have announced support for the Progressive Lawyers Association, whose members have been on trial for seven years.
“We wholeheartedly and without reservation support you in your request for acquittal and immediate release,” the groups said in the letter.
The ÇHD İstanbul Chair read out a letter sent by the organizations at today’s (January 5) hearing of the ÇHD case.
The hearing of 22 lawyers from the ÇHD and the People’s Law Bureau (HHB) will take place at the Silivri Prison Complex Courtroom between today and January 7.
Two of the defendants, ÇHD Chair Selçuk Kozağaçlı and lawyer Barkın Timtik, have been remanded in custody for five years.
The prosecutor who was on September 15 appointed to the case that has been continuing for seven years and submitted their opinion as to the accusations on November 17, demanding the punishment of Kozağaçlı for “managing an illegal organization” and the other defendants for “being a member of an illegal organization.”
Full text of the letter by the lawyers’ groups:
“With this letter, we would like to support you in the hearings of January 5, 6 and 7, 2021, which will take place before the 18th Chamber of the High Criminal Court of Istanbul.
“We have observed the hearings of this trial between 2013 and 2021 and have conducted fact-finding missions on several occasions. It is clear from our observations and investigations that the trial against you is essentially political, has not met the guarantees of a fair trial, and has directly undermined the independence of lawyers.