Oproep deelname Colombia Caravana 2016

Gepubliceerd op: 24 juni 2016 in: Activiteiten, Colombia | Comments Off on Oproep deelname Colombia Caravana 2016

In augustus 2014 hebben Peter Ingelse en Anne-Marie Smit namens Rechters voor Rechters deelgenomen aan de Colombia Caravana. Een buitengewoon caravanainteressante reis georganiseerd door de Caravana UK Lawyers’ Group in samenwerking met de Human Rights Lawyers (ACADEHUM) uit Bogota. De opzet van deze vierde Caravana was een bezoek aan Colombia om de situatie van mensenrechtenadvocaten en verdedigers van de mensenrechten te monitoren en tevens de toegang tot de rechter voor slachtoffers in het geval van mensenrechtenschendingen in Colombia te bezien. Aan de Caravana namen ook zeven rechters deel uit vijf verschillende landen.

Het algemene rapport dat op grond van de ervaringen gedurende deze Caravana is geschreven is op 28 mei 2015 aan de Colombiaanse ambassadeur in Den Haag aangeboden. Het rapport dat specifiek ziet op de positie van Colombiaanse rechters is aangeboden aan de ambassadeur van Colombia op 14 februari jongstleden.

Van 20 tot 28 augustus 2016 is de volgende Colombia Caravana gepland. Voor deze reis zijn de volgende doelen geformuleerd:

  • to prevent/reduce threats against lawyers and other defenders and the communities they work with by shining a spotlight on their work and making the Colombian authorities aware of the international concern;
  • to identify and through first-hand accounts and open discussion, gather information on the current challenges facing Colombian human rights lawyers in several regions of the country, with special attention to challenges posed by the transitional justice process.
  • to hold workshops on relevant subjects aiming to share expertise and information.
  • to influence the government by engaging in dialogue with officials from relevant departments and raising ACADEHUM’s concerns, to encourage these departments to take action on them.
  • to use the information gathered to compile a report detailing the findings of the mission and including a series of recommendations for future action on the part of both the Colombian authorities and the international community.
  • to draw up a framework with Colombian lawyers for future collaboration, support and exchange.

De Caravana richt zich op verschillende gebieden in Colombia en betrekt het transitieproces in relatie tot de vredesbesprekingen in het programma.

Als (voorzitter van) Caravana Nederland wil ik bewerkstelligen dat de (moeilijke) positie van rechters in Colombia nadrukkelijk in het programma wordt opgenomen en daarbij in het bijzonder te focussen op de problemen voor rechters rond het land restitutieprogramma. Met Edwin Rubio is besproken dat de contacten met rechters in Bogota waaronder die met de Sala Penal (het hoogste rechtscollege) via ACADEHUM wordt georganiseerd. De overige contacten met rechterlijke colleges waaronder de Consejo Superior de la Judicatura (vgl. de Raad voor de Rechtspraak) en de contacten met rechters in de te bezoeken steden worden door ons zelf gelegd (uiteraard in overleg met ACADEHUM en de Colombia Caravana UK). De eerste contacten, waaronder met Medellín, zijn inmiddels gelegd.

Iedereen die interesse heeft in de Colombia Caravana Nederland en/of deelname aan de Colombia Caravana 2016 nodig ik van harte uit om contact op te nemen (a.m.smit@rechtspraak.nl). Het spreken en lezen van de Spaanse taal is een pre, maar geen must.

Voor nadere informatie over de Colombia Caravana 2014 zie hier en voor nadere informatie over Colombia Caravana Nederland zie hier.

Statement on the impeachment of Justices Dingake, Letsididi, Garakwe and Busang of the High Court of Botswana

Gepubliceerd op: 17 juni 2016 in: Algemeen, Botswana | Comments Off on Statement on the impeachment of Justices Dingake, Letsididi, Garakwe and Busang of the High Court of Botswana

Vlag BotswanaRecalling that at its General Assembly on 19 September 2015, the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) expressed its concern about the processes put in place to impeach the Justices of the High Court mentioned above.

Recalling the CMJA Statement issued on 3 October 2015 in relation to the suspension of Justices Dingake, Letsididi, Garakwe and Busang and the concerns expressed therein.

Recalling the provisions of the Commonwealth (Latimer House) Principles on the Accountability of and the Relationship between the Three Branches of Government (2003) which state that “Disciplinary proceedings which might lead to the removal of a judicial officer should include appropriate safeguards to ensure fairness”.

Whilst not wishing to comment on current court cases which will run their normal course, the CMJA is concerned that the authorities in Botswana seem to be treating some judges more favourably than others and this gives the impression that there is a lack of equality before the law.

Any measure which is capable of being seen as eroding the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, or the fundamental rights to which all citizens of Botswana are entitled to, is a matter of serious concern and could undermine the international standing of the Botswana judiciary.

We therefore call upon the Botswana authorities to ensure that all processes followed are dealt with in a just and equitable manner to resolve the issues quickly to safeguard the good reputation of the Botswana judiciary for independence and impartiality.

Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA)
Commonwealth Legal Education Association (CLEA)
Judges for Judges (Rechters voor Rechters), Netherlands

16 June 2016

UN statement: judicial accountability, attacks on lawyers

Gepubliceerd op: 17 juni 2016 in: Activiteiten, Algemeen, CIJL_ICJ, Special Rapporteur | Comments Off on UN statement: judicial accountability, attacks on lawyers

Judges for Judges joined a statement on June 16th delivered by the ICJ at the UN Human Rights Council, on judicial accountability, and attacks on lawyers. ICJ made the statement on behalf of a group of eight NGOs, including professional organisations of judges and lawyers.

The statement, read out by Swaziland lawyer Thulani Maseko during the Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, read as follows:

Madame Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers,

Our organizations strongly support your mandate. An independent judiciary and legal profession are essential to the rule of law and to the effective protection of human rights.

Independence and impartiality of the judiciary require integrity of individual judges and judicial institutions. Accordingly, there must be accountability for judicial corruption and judicial involvement in human rights violations.

Accountability mechanisms must themselves be independent, fair and transparent, in order to ensure they do not undermine the independence of the judiciary and that victims and the broader population see them as credible and accessible.

We note in this regard the International Commission of Jurists’ newly published Practitioners’ Guide on Judicial Accountability, and the International Bar Association’s recent report on Judicial systems and Corruption.

We also must highlight the growing problem of repression of lawyers who act in cases perceived to have human rights or political aspects, including through: harassment, suspension or disbarment; arrest, detention, unfair trial, and arbitrary imprisonment; torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, enforced disappearance, or even unlawful killings.

This is inconsistent with the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and incompatible with the rule of law. It violates the rights of individual lawyers and undermines the independence of the legal profession. It denies the rights of the people the lawyers are trying to protect.

Among current examples, the scale and depth of repressive measures against lawyers and HRDs in China is particularly stark, but similar concerns arise in, for instance, Egypt, Turkey, Thailand, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Tajikistan, and Vietnam. (I myself was arbitrarily imprisoned in my own country Swaziland, for publicly expressing my opinions about judicial misconduct.)icj

We accordingly will urge lawyers, legal professional associations and others around the world to respond to the questionnaire you have prepared for your upcoming General Assembly report on the legal profession.

I thank you.

Lees verder…;

Publication Open Letter of Yarsav (Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors): “Final conquest of the last bastion of turkish judiciary: government purging high judiciary”

Gepubliceerd op: 17 juni 2016 in: Algemeen, Turkije | Comments Off on Publication Open Letter of Yarsav (Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors): “Final conquest of the last bastion of turkish judiciary: government purging high judiciary”

Vlag TurkijeAfter relocation of nearly 9000 judges (out of appx. 15000) in less than 20 months and recruiting thousands of politically loyal people as judges and prosecutors to high judicial ranks, the government, under the disguise of “judicial reform”, “judicial re-organization”, using the pretext of purging “parallel structure members” is reducing the number of members of the supreme courts by half.

A draft law aiming to change the structures of supreme courts, Council of State and Court of Cassation, has been submitted to the Parliament by the Justice and Development Party with plans to have it passed before the Parliament goes to recess at the end of June.

According to the draft, the number of judges at the Court of Cassation will be reduced from 516 to 200, while the number of judges at the Council of State will drop from 195 to 90. Tenure of high judges will be terminated when the law goes into effect. Right after this, the Judicial Council, which is under direct control of the government, will make reappointments to the high courts in 5 days among the same group. Some members of the Council of State will directly be appointed by President Erdoğan. Judges, whose tenure will be terminated and who are not reappointed to the supreme courts as high judges will be sent to different lower instance courts as a plain judge. Newly reappointed high judges’ tenure will be limited to 12 years. Lees verder…;

UN Statement: indicators of independence of justice systems

Gepubliceerd op: 17 juni 2016 in: Activiteiten, Algemeen, CIJL_ICJ, IBAHRI, Special Rapporteur | Comments Off on UN Statement: indicators of independence of justice systems

Judges for Judges today joined a statement delivered by the International Bar Association on indicators of independence of justice systems. The statement ibahricame during the interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.

It read as follows:

As international organisations of legal professionals, we endorse the recommendation made by the Special Rapporteur to develop a set of international indicators to assess the independence of justice systems.

The Special Rapporteur has previously stated: ‘No ideal justice system exists; rather, there are universal principles that must be respected in the structure and functioning of any judicial system, so that it can duly fulfil its purpose’. (Report of the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, (2014) UN Doc A/69/294, para 92.)

Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16 – that is, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions – will require respect for the universal principles of independence and impartiality of justice systems and the independence of the legal profession.

In 2015, the International Bar Association (IBA) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) proposed two indicators under SDG16, regarding the independence of the judiciary and an independent and self-governing legal profession. The IBA is currently developing ‘indicia of independence’ that can be used to assess the state of independence of the legal profession in a given jurisdiction. The Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) and the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association (CMJA) continue to monitor judicial and legal independence through the Commonwealth Latimer House Working Group.

We therefore, Madam Special Rapporteur, fully support your endeavour to develop universal indicators that complete the UN Rule of Law Indicators, and build on the UN Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, and the Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors.

We further call upon States to ensure that national targets and indicators duly align with international indicators and international principles.

Thank you, Mr President

Lees verder…;

Russian Federation: judges in Chechnya must be protected from pressure

Gepubliceerd op: 16 mei 2016 in: Algemeen, CIJL_ICJ, Rusland | Comments Off on Russian Federation: judges in Chechnya must be protected from pressure

icjThe ICJ is concerned at the reported resignations of federal judges in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation following apparent pressure by the acting Head of the Republic Ramzan Kadyrov who had suggested that resignation would be the “most correct decision of their lives”.

The ICJ considers these statements, which appear to have led directly to the resignations of federal judges, to be inappropriate interference with the functioning and independence of the judiciary.

The ICJ calls on the Russian Federation judicial authorities to take all measures within their power to ensure that all judges’ security of tenure is preserved and that any allegations of misconduct are addressed through appropriate disciplinary proceedings that respect the right to a fair hearing.

The ICJ further calls on the executive authorities to refrain from any comments which may undermine the independence of the judiciary.

On 5 May, Ramzan Kadyrov, currently acting Head of the Chechen Republic, recommended that several named judges should step down.

In his post on social media, Kadyrov identified as problems unfair decisions of courts, procrastination in criminal cases, decisions regarding housing and inconsistent decisions.

He mentioned that although examples of such decisions were sporadic, they did not help build trust in the judiciary.Vlag Rusland

He then recommended that the President of the Supreme Court of the Chechen Republic, Magomed Karatayev, and three other judges, Takhir Murdalov, Sulyan Yandarov and Zayndi Khusainov, should resign “if they had a notion of honour and professional ethics”.

It was reported that two judges of the Urus-Martan City Court and Grozny District Court, Sulyan Yandarov and Zayndi Khusainov, submitted their resignations on the same day.

The President of the Supreme Court of Chechnya, Magomed Karatayev, and his deputy Takhir Murdalov, are reported to have already filed a request for resignation.

The resignations, apparently in direct response to criticism by the executive, undermine the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary in the Russian Federation.
Lees verder…;

Guatemala: la CIJ exige pronta investigación de las amenazas contra el Juez Miguel Ángel Gálvez

Gepubliceerd op: 16 mei 2016 in: Algemeen, CIJL_ICJ, Guatemala | Comments Off on Guatemala: la CIJ exige pronta investigación de las amenazas contra el Juez Miguel Ángel Gálvez

icjEn los días pasados, el juez Miguel Ángel Gálvez ha sido víctima de amenazas que pretenden intimidarlo en su función de administración de la justicia.

La CIJ expresa su repudio ante cualquier tipo de presión en contra de operadores de justicia independientes y honestos.

Estas presiones no solamente amenazan la integridad física del juez Gálvez, sino también el trabajo valioso que realiza administrando justicia en casos de alto impacto.

Según los Principios Básicos de las Naciones Unidas Relativos a la Independencia de la Judicatura, no se permitirán intromisiones indebidas o injustificadas en los procesos judiciales.

Es esencial que los jueces puedan resolver los casos que conozcan con imparcialidad y sin restricción alguna.Vlag Guatemala

La CIJ demanda que el Estado investigue estos actos intimidatorios y tome medidas efectivas de protección, para garantizar la seguridad física del juez Miguel Ángel Gálvez.

Ramón Cadena, Director de la CIJ para Centroamérica expresó: “Urgimos a las autoridades del Estado y en particular al Organismo Judicial a tomar medidas adecuadas para evitar que las y los jueces independientes resulten afectados por este tipo de intimidaciones y que se respete la integridad física y la independencia del juez Miguel Ángel Galvez.”

(bron: http://www.icj.org/guatemala-la-cij-respalda-la-gestion-del-juez-miguel-angel-galvez/)


Verklaring Europese magistratenvereniging Medel

Gepubliceerd op: 21 maart 2016 in: Algemeen | Nog geen reacties

Rechters voor Rechters was – als ‘observer’-aanwezig bij de vergadering van de Europese magistratenvereniging Medel. Tijdens deze bijeenkomst is de volgende verklaring aangenomen:


Pisa, March 12, 2016.

medel declaration

Is Europe under Siege?

Dark clouds hang over Europe as threats to fundamental rights and freedoms arise from all countries and governments. In the last months, European governments – under the passivity of the European institutions – have carried out a series of measures aimed to destroy the basis of the rule of law.

  1. The lack of a common policy on migrants

The tragedy ongoing on the European shores continues and Europe is not finding a common solution to the constant death of innocents at the hand of human traffickers. As MEDEL recalled on several occasions (statements of Lampedusa and Athens), the European Charter of Fundamental Rights imposes on European states the duty of solidarity towards all humans, regardless of their origin or citizenship – exactly the opposite of what European authorities are doing.

Demagogic speeches of good intentions face now the cruel reality of facts – living conditions in migrant camps are inhuman, only a couple of hundred migrants have been replaced in EU countries and the alleged disappearance of thousands of children registered upon arrival on European soil and may now be in hands of child abduction networks.

The response of European governments, instead of being directed to protect migrants and refugees, has been in the opposite sense, frequently attacking their most basic rights.

The lack of a common policy for welcoming and registering migrants and refugees is no longer a mere sign of inefficiency of the European institutions – it’s a shame for all Europeand is proving to be a serious threat for the security of Europe: Europeans are not safer when you don’t provide migrants and asylum seekers perspectives of a decent life.

  1. The violation of fundamental freedoms in France

After the dreadful attacks in Paris, French authorities have put forward new legislation directed to protect citizens against terrorism. However, the fight against terrorism cannot be made on the expenses of fundamental freedoms of citizens.The Government wants to integrate in ordinary law the exceptional measures of the “state of emergency”. Derogation measures used in the fight against terrorism contaminate the law and the criminal procedure.The extension of the state of emergency, with the consequent increase of administrative acts that are not subject to judiciary control and the number of restrictive measures to fundamental freedoms that can be put in force through a mere administrative decision, is contrary to the rule of law.Searches by the police and by night decided by prefects, house arrests decided by the Minister of the Interior if a person is suspect of a link to terrorism, searches to vehicles and electronic devices are now allowed, in clear breach of fundamental rights. Adding to all of this, the question of deprivation of nationality for binational citizens put forward by the Government only pollutes the public debate.

  1. The attacks on the independence of justice in Poland, Romania and Turkey

All over Europe, governments have been carrying out attacks against the independence of justice at a scale that not so long ago was unimaginable.

In Poland, the Constitutional Tribunal has been paralyzed through ignoring its rulings, amendments of the law, and factual actionsof politicians. In this way the Tribunal has stopped to be an effective element of the system guaranteeing protection of human rights and the rule of law. Judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal must be promulgated and respected.The blockade of the Constitutional Tribunaldoes not allow for an urgent assessment of several laws adopted in the last few months by the Parliament which deeply interfere into, inter alia, the right to privacy, the freedom of media, and the administration of justice. The adopted Law on the Police has expanded significantly the powers of police and special services to conduct surveillance without sufficient safeguards for the protection of the right to privacy, journalistic sources and information covered by professional secrecy. Public media, which in a democratic society should be independent and pluralistic, have been placed under direct control of the government which has the powers to appoint and dismiss the members of the supervisory and management boards of public service television and radio. The merger of the position of the Minister of Justice with the Prosecutor General, combined with almost unlimited competence of interfering into any criminal proceedings can undermine the fundamental guarantees of division of powers and the fair trial.

In Romania, a general of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) has admitted that the courts became “tactical fields” for this secret service, that all the judges are profiled using behavioural patterns and that this secret intelligence agency is currently “maintaining its interest/attention until a final court decision is been reached in each case”.This raises serious concerns about the integrity of the judiciary system as a whole, as well as the independence of the judges. In almost a year since this scandal erupted, the Romanian authorities have failed to clarity the involvement of SRI in the judiciary process.The SRI Director stated publicly that this secret service agency is in partnership with the prosecutors to conduct criminal investigations, an activity that it is forbidden by the law. At the same time, invoking classified procedures and secret protocols, the Romanian authorities have failed to explain in a transparent way how they conducted the investigation to conclude that there are no undercover agents of any intelligence agencies among the magistrates.In the context that SRI is part of the criminal investigation and it is also involved in the courts, corroborated with the failure of authorities to clarify transparently these matters, this raises serious doubts about the respect for basic human rights and the guarantee of a fair and just trial of any person accused by the state. The most recent attacks to the Romanian Constitutional Court, for ruling unconstitutional the article used by prosecutors to delegate SRI to conduct acts of penal investigation, confirms that there is an unhealthy involvement of SRI in the judiciary process. The solution of the Romanian Government to fix this unconstitutional article in the law, by passing an emergency ordinance making SRI a “special organ” to conduct penal investigations, legalizes actually the involvement of a secret intelligence agency in the judiciary process which is undermining its independence. With SRI legally participating now in the penal investigation, and with SRI transforming the courts as their “tactical fields”, profiling judges and “maintaining their interest/attention until a final court decision is been reached in each case”, Romania is violating the human rights, independence of the judiciary, rule of law and separation of power principles.

In Turkey, for over a year judges Metin Özçelik and Mustafa Başer and prosecutors Süleyman Bağrıyanık, Ahmed Karaca, Aziz Takçı and Özcan Şişman are in detention only because of their judgments and for their professional judicial activity (judges Özçelik and Başer because of release orders they issued for police officers involved in anti-corruption investigations; prosecutors Bağrıyanık, Karaca, Takçı, and Şişman for investigations against illegal arm-smuggling).Requests for visiting them by international observers were rejected and when a representative of MEDEL tried to attend a hearing as international observer, it was decided that the trial was to be continued in camera, raising strong doubts about the compliance of the proceedings with the international standards of transparency and respect for the rule of law.

All these situations are notorious attempts of the executive power to control the judiciary, violating severely the fundamental rights and freedoms. The access to an independent judiciary is a fundamental right of any citizen and one of the cornerstones of the rule of law – to violate it is to put at risk the basis of all European values and standards.

Is Europe is under siege? Yes, but not by migrants or asylum seekers – by policies that risk to destroy the basic freedoms and the rule of lawon which Europe was built.

Taking into consideration that the EU needs the support of Turkey tackling the refugee crisis, MEDEL expects that the European Union makes no concessions to the authoritarian regime in Turkey in regard with the rule of law, state of liberties and human rights, which are the fundamental values upon which the European Union is based and must be respected also by Turkey, which applied to join the EU.

Particularly in times of crisis, we must not abandon our democratic, social and humanitarian achievements. MEDEL therefore is committed to joining forces in the spirit of tolerance, solidarity, democracy and the rule of law in Europe.

The Council of Administration of MEDEL, gathered in Pisa:

  • Supports a Europe that protects human dignity and provides prospects for a harmonious society and a dialogue on cultural, religious and social diversity and the creation of forums for people to come into contact with one another;

  • Appeals for the rigorous prosecution of inhumane attacks by right-wing extremists on refugees and their accommodation, as well as on the police, the media, and volunteers;

  • Recalls the urgent need for the definition of a clear and humane common policy for migrants and refugees;

  • Calls on all European governments to immediately cease all attacks on individual liberties and fundamental rights;

  • Demands full respect for the independence of the judiciary, mainly by the Polish government, and demands the immediate release of the detained Turkish colleagues and the immediate ceasing of any kind of interference of secret services in the judiciary in Romania.

Joint UPR statement IBAHRI

Gepubliceerd op: 19 maart 2016 in: Activiteiten, IBAHRI | Nog geen reacties

Human Rights Council, 31st session

Agenda Item 6: General Debate – Universal Periodic Review (18 March 2016)

Mr President,

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) released this week its report on the ‘Role of the UPR in advancing human rights in the administration of justice’. The report assesses more than 38,000 recommendations made between 2008 and 2014 for references to the legal profession.

The report’s key findings include:

UPR recommendations still insufficiently address the role of judges, lawyers and prosecutors, or the threats they face, as extensively documented by the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers. Significantly, these recommendations often make no reference to relevant UN standards.

Recommendations relating to the independence of judges are often too vague to be an effective response to the shortcomings of any given jurUnited Nations
isdiction. Serious issues in the appointment and removal of judges are mostly ignored.

The independence of lawyers was considered in fewer than 100 of the 38,000 UPR recommendations.

Prosecutorial independence is addressed in less than 10 per cent of the recommendations calling upon States to effectively investigate or prosecute rights violations.

Guarantees for legal professionals’ rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association are barely addressed. This fails to reflect the key role that self-governing organisations of legal professionals should play in upholding human rights and the rule of law, the independence of the legal profession and law reform processes.ibahri

As international organisations of legal professionals, we foster the engagement of the legal profession in UN human rights mechanisms and in monitoring the implementation of UPR recommendations.

We call upon the Human Rights Council, as well as States, to ensure that in the third cycle of the UPR, the role of judges, lawyers, and prosecutors receives the heightened attention that it is due, as recognised by the UN Basic Principles on the independence of the judiciary, the UN Basic Principles on the role of lawyers and the UN Guidelines on the role of prosecutors.

Thank you, Mr President

The following organisations have endorsed this statement:

Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association

Commonwealth Lawyers Association

International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute

International Commission of Jurists

Judges for Judges

Lawyers for Lawyers

Southern Africa Litigation Centre

Publication of Open letter of Yarsav (Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors): “THE LAST S.O.S CALL FROM FREE TURKISH JUDGES”

Gepubliceerd op: 9 maart 2016 in: Algemeen, Turkije | Comments Off on Publication of Open letter of Yarsav (Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors): “THE LAST S.O.S CALL FROM FREE TURKISH JUDGES”

Vlag TurkijeAccording to government controlled daily newspaper (Sabah) which functions as a mouthpiece and precursor of government attacks to the judiciary, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors will suspend a total number of 680 judges and prosecutors on the grounds of being members of “Parallel Structure” and “Gülenists”. Ensuingly judges and prosecutors will be disbarred from profession and put on trial in a very short time. According to the news, although this number (5000) is denied by HCJP, there are a total number of 5000 judges and prosecutors who are being investigated and this will be the first step to disbar and try all of them.

This will be the greatest purge that we have ever seen and we know that without concrete evidence our colleagues and ourselves will be labeled as members of “Parallel Structure” and “Gülenist” and persecuted accordingly as it has happened to many of our colleagues previously.

As a first step there will be 120 administrative judges and 560 civil and criminal judges and prosecutors most probably including many members of our association “Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors”.

According to said newspaper the vice president of the Judicial council, Mr. Metin Yandırmaz, told them that judicial leg of this parallel organization (a term which is coined by President Erdoğan), has 5000 judges and prosecutors and they will all be dealt with step by step.

So far 14 judges and prosecutors were disbarred from profession, being put on trial, some arrested and 80 judges and prosecutors have been suspended under this pretext.

Executive’s modus operandi is to make this kind of news in his own media firstly and after weighing reactions and see that there is not enough reaction he carries out his plans accordingly. We have seen this many times. It is obvious that this news is laying the groundwork for a huge purge.

This is the last chance of the contemporary world and international community that believe in democracy, fundamental rights and independence of judiciary to react strongly otherwise there will be a dictatorship on the doorsteps of Europe under your watch.

We, Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors, invite international institutions to react and stop executive’s latest attempt to eradicate the last obstacle in front of it in order to establish a dictatorship within the boundaries of Turkey which will have detrimental effect on our region and Europe. This is the last chance to say stop this madness or in order to save today, tomorrow will be lost for all of us who wants to see peace in the region and Europe.

Free Turkish judges and prosecutors who are defending democracy, freedoms and independence of judiciary need your immediate support, solidarity and reactions in order to save the last bastion of Turkish democracy.

We would like to underline the reality that this may be the last call issued by us to the free world.


Murat Arslan

President of YARSAV (Turkish Association of Judges and Prosecutors)