As the trial opens for Amnesty Turkey Director İdil Eser and the other human rights defenders known as the Istanbul 10, BHRC reiterates its condemnation of their continued detention and calls for their release.

The Istanbul 10 were arrested on 5 July 2017 and accused of “committing crimes as part of a terrorist organisation without being members.” However, reports suggest that the Turkish government is attempting to link them to three unrelated terrorist organisations with ideologically opposing agenda.

The Istanbul 10 join more than 50,000 people have been detained and accused of ties to the ‘Fethullahist Terrorist Organisation,’ including nearly 2,500 members of the judiciary and dozens of journalists, and there have also been documented cases of torture, inhumane treatment and deteriorating conditions of detention since the failed coup. An additional 169,000 are accused of ties with terrorist organisations but have yet to face legal proceedings.

BHRC considers that these violations of fundamental human rights are of serious concern. The actions of the Turkish government not only violate international law, but demonstrate the deep flaws in the Turkish justice system. Without respect for fundamental human rights, and the rule of law, the people of Turkey are left without safeguards against torture, arbitrary arrest and inhumane treatment, and other violations of their fundamental rights.
In its statement, BHRC urges Turkish authorities to immediately and unconditionally release İdil Eser and Taner Kılıç, the 9 defendants facing the first day of trial on 25 October 2017, and the many other human rights defenders who are being detained without evidence.

You can read the full statement here.

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. For an interview with our spokesperson, please contact Amanda June Chadwick, Executive Officer, on +44 (0)7854 197862 or coordination@barhumanrights.org.uk
2. For more information on the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC), visit our website at http://www.barhumanrights.org.uk
3. The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) is the international human rights arm of the Bar of England and Wales, working to protect the rights of advocates, judges and human rights defenders around the world. The BHRC is concerned with defending the rule of law and internationally recognised legal standards relating to human rights and the right to a fair trial. It is independent of the Bar Council.