July 26, 2016
International Union of the European Criminal Lawyers formally asks expulsion of Turkey from the Council of Europe or the suspension of its membership until minimum standards of fundamental rights protection are restored and asks for a meeting with COE’s Secretary General (July, 26)
The International Union of the European Criminal Lawyers expresses its deep concern about the recent developments in Turkey, which significantly undermine European standards of fundamental rights and the European Convention of Human Rights itself.
Suspension, detention and prosecution of thousands of university professors, journalists, judges, defense lawyers, as well as civil servants and private citizens, take place every day; we have no doubt that these professions are targeted due to their social function as defence of rights and the rule of law and their relevance for the functioning of democracy.
Arbitrary arrests, mass persecutions, cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of people deprived of their liberty, restrictions of freedom of speech and freedom of press and media expression, censorship of education, attack to the independence of judiciary power, suspension of access to a lawyer for detained people, and the potential restoration of death penalty, as suggested in these days by Turkish government, are incompatible with the rights granted by the European Convention of Human Rights and its protocols, even considering Turkey’s temporary derogation under Article 15 of the Convention. In fact, no derogation is allowed under same provision with regard, inter alia, to the right to life, the prohibition of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and the principle of no punishment without law.