Law Society of England and Wales reports on human rights concerns in Turkey

The report highlighted the treatment of lawyers and human rights defenders

Law Society of England and Wales reports on human rights concerns in Turkey

The Law Society of England and Wales, in collaboration with 26 other legal and human rights organizations, has released a report detailing concerns over human rights practices in Turkey, specifically regarding the treatment of lawyers and human rights defenders.

This announcement follows a fact-finding mission to Turkey, where the delegation visited eight imprisoned lawyers to understand their situation better. The mission aimed to collect firsthand information on the conditions of lawyers' arrests, their treatment in detention, and the overall legal environment they face. According to the findings, the Turkish government's application of anti-terror legislation has led to the arrest and detention of lawyers on broad terrorism charges, particularly those involved in human rights cases.

The report indicates that these legal professionals were convicted and sentenced without access to due process and a fair trial. Additionally, it highlights concerns about the treatment of detained lawyers, including reports of torture, ill-treatment, and isolation. Such conditions, the report suggests, are not in line with Turkey's commitments to international human rights standards.

The delegation's observations raised issues regarding the legal profession's independence in Turkey and access to justice. The report called attention to the need for the Turkish government to adhere to international human rights obligations, including respecting the role of lawyers in the legal system.

Richard Atkinson, Vice President of the Law Society, commented on the findings, emphasizing the importance of the international legal community's awareness of these issues. "There is a worrying pattern of human rights violations in Turkey. Our findings conclude that the treatment of lawyers in Turkey demonstrates a blatant disregard for international norms. By prohibiting lawyers from fulfilling their professional duties, the Turkish government seeks to dismantle the rule of law and access to justice," Atkinson stated.

The Law Society and other legal and human rights organizations called on the Turkish government to end all acts of intimidation and harassment of lawyers and respect the legal profession's independence in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.

 

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