Tag Archives: European Court of Human Rights

Azerbaijan: Lawyer disbarred for disclosing his client’s torture allegations in prison seeks justice from the European Court of Human Rights

July 18, 2019

Yalchin Imanov is the latest of at least two dozen human rights lawyers to have been disbarred, had their licences suspended, been criminally prosecuted or otherwise pressured by the authorities in Azerbaijan.

On 8 August 2017 Yalchin visited his client, Abbas Huseynov, in the high security Gobustan prison and saw bruises all over his body. Mr Huseynov told him that he had been severely tortured by prison officials, including being beaten with batons, dragged on the floor, tied to a metal pole in the yard and held in a solitary confinement with his hands and legs cuffed, over several days. Upon leaving the prison, he was contacted by several media outlets for information about the worrying situation of his client and he described to the media the treatment his client had been subjected to and the bruises he had seen on him.

The next day, Yalchin requested both the Prison Service and the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate Mr Huseynov’s torture allegations but no investigation has been conducted to date. In response to his complaint the Prison Service requested the Azerbaijan Bar Association (ABA) to take disciplinary measures against Yalchin for allegedly aiming `to cast shadow over the work and reputation of the state structures` and `to cause disorder` and `tension among some groups of the society`. His licence was suspended by the ABA on 20 November 2017, pending decision of the domestic court on his disbarment.

Yalchin was indefinitely disbarred by the Ganja Administrative Economic Court on 22 February 2019 on the basis of the request from the ABA who claimed that he had damaged `the honour, dignity and business reputation` of the Prison Service by providing information to the media about the torture allegations of his client, convicted in the Nardaran case.

Lawyer disbarred for disclosing his client’s torture allegations in prison seeks justice from the European Court of Human Rights

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/yalchin-imanov-suspended-practising-pending-trial

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/2/free/Social/en/79059.htm

https://www.turan.az/ext/news/2019/6/free/Social/en/81410.htm

https://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/44798/

https://rm.coe.int/statistics-for-eng/168078f2f8

Turkey/UK: Society joins plea to UN over Turkey’s ‘chilling roll call of injustice’

July 18, 2019

Image result for law society of england and wales

Turkish citizens are resorting in vain to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in ever greater numbers, as trust in their domestic courts erodes, the Law Society of England and Wales said today in a joint submission to the UN Human Rights Council’s universal periodic review of Turkey on behalf of an international coalition of legal organisations.

’Judges’ and prosecutors’ independence has been systematically undermined in Turkey since the failed coup in 2016,’ Law Society president Simon Davis said. ’Hundreds of judges, prosecutors and lawyers have been arrested, detained and convicted on charges of terrorism without credible evidence.

’Lawyers have been identified with and punished for their clients’ causes. More than 1,500 lawyers have been prosecuted, hundreds of them in mass trials,’ he said. Lawyers who can still practise report intimidation and threats.’

Davis said that this menacing environment undermines the right of every citizen to legal representation and a fair trial, which may explain why Turkish citizens submitted more than 57,000 petitions to the European Court of Human Rights in 2017.

According to the submission, Turkey’s chilling roll call of injustice includes:

  • 57,039 petitions to the ECtHR in 2017 from Turkish citizens, 25,000 of which rejected for failure to exhaust domestic remedies
  • 4,260 judges and prosecutors dismissed
  • 634 judges and prosecutors convicted on terrorism charges
  • 1,546 lawyers prosecuted, 311 sentenced to a total of 1,967 years in prison
  • 599 lawyers arrested and detained

’Turkey must protect the independence of lawyers, judges and prosecutors – in legislation and in practice – so that they can perform their professional duties without intimidation and improper interference,’ Davis said. ’The rule of law and the independence of the legal profession are essential foundations for political, social and economic stability.’

He said that the Law Society and the international legal profession will continue to support colleagues working in difficult conditions and do whatever it can to help restore meaningful access to justice in Turkey.

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/international/society-joins-plea-to-un-over-turkeys-chilling-roll-call-of-injustice/5071046.article

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/18/un-urged-to-act-over-purge-of-turkeys-lawyers-by-erdogan

https://www.australasianlawyer.com.au/news/legal-coalition-urges-un-to-act-on-persecution-of-lawyers-and-judges-in-turkey-264636.aspx

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/european-court-cannot-help-thousands-of-persecuted-lawyers-in-turkey-5fm5hw2wp

Joint UPR submission Turkey

http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk/bhrc-joins-international-coalition-of-legal-organisations-raising-concern-for-turkeys-lawyers-and-judges/

Int’l lawyers say Turkey’s justice system being undermined by post-coup purge

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/

UPR Turkey Combined

http://bianet.org/english/human-rights/210569-33-years-of-the-ihd-15-directors-and-members-of-which-killed-from-vedat-aydin-to-tahir-elci

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/07/turkey-outlandish-charges-against-osman-kavala-and-15-others-must-be-dropped/

https://www.lawsociety.ie/gazette/top-stories/ten-year-backlog-of-10000-cases-dogs-european-court-of-human-rights/

https://tr.euronews.com/2019/07/18/avrupa-hukuk-orgutleri-bm-ye-turkiye-raporu-insan-haklari-aihm-15-temmuz-mahkum-cezaevi (TURKCE)

Turkey: Chief of Turkish National Police admits that 540,000 detentions have been made without legal ground

July 15, 2019

On the third anniversary of 2016’s coup attempt, Celal Uzunkaya who is general director of the Turkey’s General Directorate of Security (National Police) admits that 540,000 individuals have been detained on grounds of their alleged cohesion or connection with the Gulen Movement / Structure which is outlawed by the Turkish Government after the coup attempt.

In a special interviews with CNN Turk, Mr Uzunkaya said:

Since 15thJuly (2016), 540.000 proceedings have been carried out, in connection with FETO. Is it over? It is not. Was it (FETO) cleaned?, should you ask; it has certainly not been dealt with completely.

Across Turkey, initially, every week in average 1500 – 1700, even 2000 detentions were being made. Nowadays, (thanks to) more qualified (meritable) identifications, we carry out proceeding about around 500-600 people per week who have coherence or connection with FETO.

Until this statement, Turkish government claimed that the criterion which were expressed in the Emergency Decrees, namely ‘coherence, connection, affiliation, relation, link [with or to Gulen Movement / Structure]’ are applied only for administrative measures, not in criminal proceedings. So indeed, Turkey defended itself in the ECHR and the UN Human Rights Mechanism in this manner. For the first time, chief of the Turkish National Police admits ‘coherence or connection’ which are not crime and do not have any legal ground are applied to criminal proceedings as well.

Mr. Uzunkaya also admits that their identification is more qualified than those made after the coup attempt. He says initially, every week in average 1500 – 1700, even 2000 detentions were being made in connection with Gulen Structure, nowadays (with) more qualified (meritable) identifications, around 500-600 people individuals are being detained per week.

Chief of Turkish National Police admits that 540,000 detentions have been made without legal ground

https://ahvalnews.com/echr-turkey/turkey-comes-second-echr-violations

Justice Ministry says Turkey building 137 new prisons

Turkey: Istanbul lawyer detained, beaten by Erdoğan’s guards for questioning blocked traffic

April 16, 2019

Turkish lawyer beaten by President Erdoğan’s bodyguards in İstanbul: report

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security guards detained and beat an Istanbul lawyer for insulting the president after questioning blocked traffic at the site of a wedding ceremony attended by Erdoğan, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The incident took place when lawyer Sertuğ Sürenoğlu asked police why traffic was blocked around the city’s Çırağan Palace, where Erdoğan was in attendance for a high profile wedding on Sunday, the newspaper said.

Erdoğan’s security handcuffed Sürenoğlu and placed him in a vehicle where he was beaten for two hours, it said, adding that the security guards then forced Sürenoğlu to sign a police report stating that he had insulted Erdoğan.

The lawyer was then handed over to police who took him into a station, Cumhuriyet said.

After being questioned for insulting the president, Sürenoğlu was released on house arrest.

“I didn’t even know that President Erdoğan was going to be there. I only asked why the road was blocked off. I absolutely did not insult the president. I was tortured by the president’s guards and forced me to sign a report saying I had insulted the president,” Cumhuriyet quoted Sürenoğlu as saying in his statement while in police custody.

Insulting the president carries a sentence between one and four years, according to the Turkish Penal Code.

https://ahvalnews.com/assault/istanbul-lawyer-detained-beaten-erdogans-guards-questioning-blocked-traffic?fbclid=IwAR2h0ID525-vtHZ4GQHTget24Vf0W65gNyQmqAK2PKrBwRdabYYBEjCjpx4

President Erdogan’s security details tortured a Turkish lawyer

Turkish lawyer beaten by President Erdoğan’s bodyguards in İstanbul: report

Erdogan's bodyguards, beaten the lawyer, he had the record signed!

https://ahvalnews.com/echr-turkey/turkeys-detention-highest-court-judge-unlawful-echr

European court rules Turkey violated top judge’s rights of liberty

https://gozlemgazetesi.com/HaberDetay/252/1112437/korumalar-tarafindan-darp-edildigi-iddia-edilen-avukat-sertug-surenoglu.html (TURKCE)

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/372222/kozagaclinin-babasinin-cenazesine-kelepceli-goturulmesine-tepki (TURKCE)

http://www.armenews.com/spip.php?page=article&id_article=11587 (FRANCAIS)

https://www.challenges.fr/monde/un-juge-constitutionnel-turc-fait-condamner-ankara-a-strasbourg_653541 (FRANCAIS)

Germany/Turkey/Greece: Critical of German justice, lawyer to take NSU case to European court

January 18, 2019

NSU avukatlarından Daimagüler: 1600 kez tehdit edildim

Mehmet Daimagüler, one of the lawyers for the families of victims in Germany’s notorious National Socialist Underground (NSU) case, says he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Addressing a conference on the NSU and racism in Germany at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul yesterday, Daimagüler said he did not trust German courts and did not expect much from the legal process in Germany regarding the neo-Nazi gang.

The NSU, composed of three members, were behind the murders of eight Turkish and one Greek immigrant and a German policewoman between 2000 and 2007. Two members killed themselves when the police closed in on them, while the sole surviving member, Beate Zschaepe, was sentenced to life in a trial that concluded last year.

“I don’t trust German courts and that’s why we filed a compensation lawsuit [for the victims]. If the German government, state administrations did their jobs properly, if police did not look into the murders through a racist angle, people would not get killed,” the lawyer said.

The lawyer said he was certain cases against the NSU would be “lost,” referring to appeals to the sentence for Zschaepe and the gang’s accomplices who got away with lenient sentences. “But we will take these cases to the European Court of Human Rights afterwards,” he said.

Daimagüler also spoke about threats the lawyers of victims faced. “I’ve received about 1,600 threats so far but I didn’t take them seriously. Barking dogs seldom bite,” he added. However, he expressed concern about threats to fellow lawyer Seda Başay Yıldız. “It was discovered that threats were linked to a police station and had everything from the address of her residences to the address of her parents. It is also a big scandal that police told Yıldız that they can’t protect her properly and suggested she buy a gun to defend herself,” he said.

https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/01/18/critical-of-german-justice-lawyer-to-take-nsu-case-to-european-court

http://www.migazin.de/amp/2019/01/15/frankfurter-anwaeltin-erhaelt-erneut-drohbrief/ (DEUTSCH)

https://www.landeszeitung.de/blog/nachrichten/politik/2243282-zweiter-drohbrief-des-nsu2-0-so-gehen-die-ermittler-vor (DEUTSCH)

http://juedischerundschau.de/den-bock-zum-gaertner-135911284/ (DEUTSCH)

http://medyaberlin.com/de/post/interview-mit-nsu-opfer-anwalt-mehmet-daimaguler (DEUTSCH)

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehmet_Daimag%C3%BCler (DEUTSCH)

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/avrupa/nsu-avukatlarindan-daimaguler-1600-kez-tehdit-edildim-41086283 (TURKCE)

https://www.star.com.tr/yerel-haberler/avukat-mehmet-daimaguler-3713766/ (TURKCE)

https://www.star.com.tr/guncel/nsu-davasini-aihme-tasiyacagiz-haber-1427028/ (TURKCE)

http://enpolitik.com/haber/266631/eger-alman-hukumeti-isleri-duzgun-bir-sekilde-yapsaydi-bu-insanlar-olmezdi.html (TURKCE)

https://perspektif.eu/2019/01/17/nsu-davasini-avrupa-insan-haklari-mahkemesine-tasiyacagiz/ (TURKCE)

https://www.trthaber.com/haber/dunya/nsu-davasini-avrupa-insan-haklari-mahkemesine-tasiyacagiz-401607.html (TURKCE)

Turkey: Demirtas asks Kurdish nation to support him before court appearance

December 8, 2018

Selahattin Demirtas, the former co-leader of Turkey's pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party, poses during an interview in Brussels on August 6, 2015. File photo: John Thys | AFP

In a letter addressed to fellow Kurds, former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas said he is being persecuted and imprisoned because of his ethnic identity and is appealing for support

“I am writing this letter in a confinement cell at the heavy penalties prison where I have been jailed for more than two years,” read his letter.

Nearly 5,000 HDP members have been imprisoned by the Turkish state.

“Nine HDP MPs and 58 mayors are still in prison. We are being flagrantly persecuted and we have been put in jail because of our Kurdish ethnic identity, involvement in politics, and call for our peoples’ lives and properties to be protected – which is our right,” Demirtas said in a statement.

He communicates through his lawyer.

“I am calling on you for support and coordination. I call on you to help us in our endeavors for freedom and democracy. I have confidence you will you will work to convey our message and communicate our voices to the international community. The question is as important as life and death.

Demirtas will face another round of judicial proceedings on Wednesday.

“Therefore I am calling on you to be present in the trial, if possible. I am grateful for your support and coordination in convey our message,” Demirtas wrote.

He is facing 142 years on multiple charges stemming from allegations of ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). But his Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which he led before his arrest and detention, says the case against him is political.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in November that Turkey should end its pre-trial detention of Demirtas pending his appeal and found several instances of human rights violations by the courts in the handling of his case.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/turkey/08122018

https://ahvalnews.com/selahattin-demirtas/jailed-kurdish-politician-pens-letter-le-monde-asks-international-solidarity

https://stockholmcf.org/demirtass-lawyer-selected-as-lawyer-of-the-week-by-the-times/?fbclid=IwAR3doZ3E4xinawar28s63lJdKfHmdrW2Wp7N-zxSzxVVryCEeltJotijdsE

https://stockholmcf.org/demirtass-lawyer-selected-as-lawyer-of-the-week-by-the-times/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F

https://www.evrensel.net/haber/367880/selahattin-demirtastan-le-mondea-mektup (TURKCE)

https://www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2018/12/06/selahattin-demirtas-aujourd-hui-c-est-mon-tour-de-vous-demander-soutien-et-solidarite_5393662_3232.html (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F (FRANCAIS)

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

Turkey/ECHR: Local court rejects Demirtaş’s appeal for release despite ECtHR ruling

November 30, 2018

The Ankara 19th High Criminal Court on Friday rejected a request for release filed by Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş which was based on a European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruling that his pre-trial detention had gone on longer than could be justified.

The court decided to ask Turkey’s Justice Ministry whether the ECtHR ruling was final.

Former co-chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Demirtaş has been in pre-trial detention since November 2016 along with the other former co-chair, Figen Yüksekdağ.

“The Court found that the judicial authorities had extended Mr Demirtaş’ detention on grounds that could not be regarded as ‘sufficient’ to justify its duration,” the Strasbourg-based ECtHR said in a statement on Nov. 20.

The ECtHR ruled that Ankara “was to take all necessary measures to put an end to the applicant’s pre-trial detention.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded to the ECtHR decision by saying that the European court’s rulings did not bind Turkey.

https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/11/30/local-court-rejects-demirtass-appeal-for-release-despite-ecthr-ruling/

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/11/turkish-court-selahattin-demirtas-jail-echr-181130140610828.html

https://www.voanews.com/a/turkish-court-rules-to-keep-ex-kurdish-party-leader-in-jail/4681142.html

https://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/turkish-politician-to-remain-in-jail/news-story/4d7852777fc0d2750052fb0afe3740df

https://www.euronews.com/2018/11/30/turkish-court-rules-to-keep-kurdish-politician-demirtas-in-jail-lawyer

https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/12/04/regional-appeals-court-upholds-kurdish-politician-demirtass-sentence/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F

https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/speak-out-for-people-in-turkey/?fbclid=IwAR3jvH1NNtY6dLqrcDhHD_zAHAQ7iYDS7vOwtpIg9YZxTGU5B0dYEiillvw (SIGN THE PETITION!)

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/1156456/Mahkemeden_Selahattin_Demirtas_karari.html (TURKCE)

https://www.demokrathaber.org/siyaset/selahattin-demirtas-beklesinler-durusmaya-geliyorum-soyleyeceklerim-h110484.html (TURKCE)

https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2018/11/30/turquie-la-demande-de-liberation-de-l-opposant-kurde-demirtas-rejetee_5390970_3210.html (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selahattin_Demirta%C5%9F (FRANCAIS)

https://de.nachrichten.yahoo.com/nachrichten-ruckblick-abend-die-wichtigsten-news-vom-30-november-2018-165738676.html (DEUTSCH)

https://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-justicia-turca-mantiene-rejas-politico-kurdo-demirtas-pese-fallo-estrasburgo-20181130140137.html (ESPANOL)

https://observador.pt/2018/11/30/tribunal-turco-rejeita-libertacao-do-opositor-curdo-selahattin-demirtas/ (PORTUGUES)

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer