Lawyer Selcuk Kozagacli who is the president of CHD-Progressive Lawyers Association that was shut down with an emergency decree was arrested in Istanbul after 5-day police custody. Today, Kozagacli was taken to the Istanbul Courthouse located in Çağlayan. After questioned by the prosecutor, he was referred to the Istanbul 10th Peace Criminal Judgeship for arrest and got arrested on the charge of to be the member of DHKP/C terrorist organization.
Mr. Kozagacli is the 556th lawyers who have been arrested since the last year’s controversial coup attempt.
Today, a group of United Nations experts including Mr. Michel Forst, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders has condemned the use of terrorism charges against human rights defenders and people legitimately expressing dissent in Turkey.
“We call for the immediate release of all the human rights defenders and lawyers concerned in these cases, and we appeal to the Turkish authorities to drop the charges of terrorism against them. Most of these accusations of terrorism are based solely on actions such as downloading data protection software, publishing opinions disagreeing with the Government’s anti-terrorism policies, organizing demonstrations, or providing legal representation for other activists. Ever since the coup attempt in July 2016 we have witnessed with alarm the arrest, detention and prosecution of people voicing criticism of the Turkish Government and working to protect human rights” said the experts.
Kozagacli and 15 other lawyers were prosecuted with the same accusation between 2013 and 2014 and were acquitted by Istanbul 23rd High Penal Court.
Many national and international law societies and bar associations denounced his detention and arrest.
Selçuk Kozağaçlı, who is one the most respected human rights defender of Turkey, has been representing the Soma Mine Disaster Victims, hunger strike activists Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakça and many other persecuted people.
It is reported that Mr. Kozagacli was battered while he was taken into custody and now He is on hunger strike to protest unlawful detention.
Mr. Kozagacli revealed during the Ankara Bar Association’s general assembly on Oct. 16 that people imprisoned as part of a government crackdown on the Gülen movement are being systematically tortured in the most barbaric ways including rape, removal of nails and the insertion of objects into their anuses.
“They remove the nails of colleagues [during detention] at police stations. Believe me; I saw people who underwent a colostomy after they were tortured with objects inserted into their anuses in prison and police stations,” said Kozağaçlı.
ÇHD was closed by government decree (No. 677 dated November 22, 2016) along with 33 other lawyers associations. The 14 members of CHD-Progressive Lawyers Association were also detained on September 12, 2017, two days before the hearing of Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça who have been hunger strike to protest their dismissals from their duties. Lawyers Didem Baydar, Şükriye Erden, Ayşegül Çağatay, Ebru Timtik, Aytaç Ünsal, Zehra Özdemir, Yağmur Ereren, Engin Gökoğlu, Süleyman Gökten, Aycan Çiçek, Naciye Demir, Behiç Aşçı, Barkın Timtik and Özgür Yılmaz have been behind bars since September 21, 2017.
Categories: Unjust / Wrongful Convictions