Saturday, November 28, 2020

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

Must read

Turkey’s judicial council rewards judges and prosecutors for their role in gov’t-led prosecutions: report

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) on Friday named 11 judges and prosecutors, many of whom played critical roles in government-led prosecutions, as...

‘We have to take measures,’ says Erdoğan as opposition questions COVID death toll

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said his government was obliged to take measures in the face of skyrocketing COVID-19 infections in the...

NATO’s reform plan to make veto more difficult likely to be blocked by Turkey

NATO-appointed experts on Wednesday presented to the foreign ministers of member countries a plan on reforming the alliance, including a proposal to make it...

Belgium’s highest criminal court will convene over Facebook posts insulting Gülen-linked residents

A court in Belgium on November 16 referred 14 Belgians of Turkish descent to the country's highest criminal court over Facebook comments targeting residents...

Trust in Turkey’s justice system is being undermined by the systematic dismissal and jailing of thousands of judges and prosecutors, an international coalition of lawyers has said, according to The Guardian.

The purge of officials launched by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government in the wake of a failed coup in 2016 has led to suspects being convicted of terrorism “without credible evidence,” according to the Law Society, which has coordinated a submission to the UN.

A 25-page document sent to the UN Human Rights Council calls for urgent action over the “widespread and systematic persecution of members of the legal profession in Turkey.”

There were already concerns about human rights violations prior to the failed coup in July 2016, the submission states, but since then the judiciary’s independence has been violated through the arbitrary arrest, detention and prosecution of lawyers.

In all, 4,260 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed. Of these, 634 were convicted on terrorism charges, the Law Society says. A further 1,546 lawyers have been prosecuted and 311 sentenced to a total of 1,967 years in prison.

The report is backed by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, the Paris Bar Human Rights Institute, the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and World Human Rights, the human rights committee of the Norwegian Bar Association, and other legal organizations.

Approximately 500 administrative personnel working for Turkey’s Council of State, the Court of Accounts and Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) have been also dismissed, and only eight have been reinstated.

The report sent to the UN says: “Numerous legislative and constitutional amendments have given the government of Turkey unprecedented control over the judiciary and prosecutorial authorities, thereby undermining judicial and prosecutorial independence, as well as the rule of law.

“These amendments have been used to harass and persecute legal professionals, not only to suppress dissenting voices but also to restrict and criminalise work carried out by lawyers in the exercise of their professional duties. Within 24 hours of the attempted coup, 2,740 judges and prosecutors were suspended for alleged links to the Gülenist movement [the group allegedly behind the failed coup].”

- Advertisement -

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article

Turkey’s judicial council rewards judges and prosecutors for their role in gov’t-led prosecutions: report

Turkey’s Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) on Friday named 11 judges and prosecutors, many of whom played critical roles in government-led prosecutions, as...

‘We have to take measures,’ says Erdoğan as opposition questions COVID death toll

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday said his government was obliged to take measures in the face of skyrocketing COVID-19 infections in the...

NATO’s reform plan to make veto more difficult likely to be blocked by Turkey

NATO-appointed experts on Wednesday presented to the foreign ministers of member countries a plan on reforming the alliance, including a proposal to make it...

Belgium’s highest criminal court will convene over Facebook posts insulting Gülen-linked residents

A court in Belgium on November 16 referred 14 Belgians of Turkish descent to the country's highest criminal court over Facebook comments targeting residents...

4 detained in police raid of Kurdish party branch, other locations in eastern Turkey

Four people were detained when Turkish police raided the provincial office of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and various other locations in the...