The Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey, representing the major associations of European judges, expresses grave concerns after the conviction of judge Murat Arslan was upheld in appeal. The official protest note is published online and was sent to numerous international institutions.
Judges for Judges and three other European Associations of Judges together form the Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Turkey. This partnership has published a letter with an appeal to the respect of basic human rights of detained judges and prosecutors. It gives special attention to the dramatic case of judge Sultani Temel, who has been imprisoned with her five-year-old daughter for years now.
On 5 and 6 December the conference Judicial independence under threat? – organized by the Council of Europe and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung – took place in Strasbourg. Both Diego García-Sayán, the UN Special rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and our board member Ybo Buruma were present at this conference. The question regarding when and under what conditions the European Court of Human Rights will provide an effective remedy for dismissed and detained Turkish judges inspired them both to write a column.
The mere number of imprisoned Turkish judges is so intimidating, that a very special gesture is necessary if judicial independence in Turkey is to be protected. Would it not be preferable to deal with the cases in Strasbourg even before all the domestic remedies have been exhausted? Judges for Judges board member Ybo Buruma has the impression that the European Court of Human Rights does not wish to follow this line of reasoning.
The UN’s Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers Diego García-Sayán has been particularly affected by the visible lack of action on the part of the exemplary European Court of Human Rights regarding the serious violations of human rights in Turkey. With hundreds of judges still imprisoned, organisations of lawyers destroyed and their members also in prison, it is alarming that the Court is acting as if judicial institutions and legal defence are still functioning normally.
Een rechtbank die weinig tot niets zei, geen enkele vraag stelde en alle verzoeken afwees. Een herhaling van het ritueel, dat we ook de voorgaande zittingen hebben gezien. De verdachte en zijn vier advocaten kregen alle ruimte, maar er werd niets mee gedaan. Een eindbeslissing zonder dat de verdediging haar pleidooi heeft gehouden. Dit is het verslag van de laatste zittingsdag in de rechtszaak tegen de Turkse rechter Murat Arslan.
Yesterday, Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize Winner Murat Arslan, President of the Independent Turkish Judges Association YARSAV, has been convicted under charges of being member of an armed terrorist organization (namely of being active member of FETÖ/PDY) and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
The Platform for an Independent Turkish Judiciary, that assembles the four most representative associations of judges in Europe (AEAJ, EAJ, J4J and Medel), has prepared a public statement on this unlawful conviction.
Murat Arslan, de voorzitter van Yarsav, de verboden onafhankelijke Turkse rechtersvereniging zit sinds oktober 2016 in voorlopige hechtenis in afwachting van zijn proces. Op 2 november 2017 was bij de 25 ste Strafkamer van de rechtbank in Ankara de eerste zittingsdag. Inmiddels zijn we op 7 december 2018 bij de zevende zittingsdag aanbeland. Namens Rechters voor Rechters was Evert van der Molen aanwezig.
Marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Platform for an Independent Judiciary in Europe (of which Judges for Judges is a member) published a letter today, remembering the situation in Turkey and the violation of basic human rights in that country, mainly with regard to the right to a fair trial and an independent judiciary.
Since the coup attempt of July 15th 2016, at least 4.463 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed. Neslihan Ekinci was the first female general secretary of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) in Turkey until July 2016. She was dismissed the day after the coup attempt by the Turkish Government and she was taken into custody on 18th July 2016 and till May 2018 she was kept in solitary confinement, since then she has a cellmate.
Ms Ekinci is suffering from serious mental health problems as a result of her detention. Burak Haylamaz (student of the European Law School at Maastricht University) wrote a paper analysing the situation of former judge Neslihan Ekinci and concludes that her solitary confinement is unlawful and amounts to torture.
Neslihan Ekinci’s case has attracted attention from all over the world, including from Amnesty International. Click here to watch a clip about Neslihan Ekinci.