Six woman lawyers were arrested on 14 November after 6-day police custody in Erzurum with the charge to be the member of the armed terrorist organization. A lawyer was released with probation.

Seven woman lawyers who were taken into custody on 8th November, were taken to Erzurum Courthouse yesterday. The lawyers referred to Erzurum Peace Criminal Judgeship for arrest after questioned by prosecutor and while a lawyer was released with probation, six lawyers got arrested.

Peace Criminal Judgeships are called special project courts that were introduced by Erdoğan on June 22, 2014 to persecute his critics. Exclusively authorized to carry out all investigatory processes including detention, arrest, property seizure and search warrants, penal judges of peace were handpicked by the government from among loyalists and partisans who pursued a witch-hunt primarily against members of the Gülen movement and the Kurdish political movement, who are treated as enemies by the government. As appeals against decisions by a penal judge of peace can be filed only with another penal judge of peace, this creates a “closed circuit” system that has drawn harsh criticism from PACE and the Venice Commission. The Venice Commission dealt with these courts when Cesar Florin Preda, chair of the Monitoring Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), requested an opinion on the duties, competences and functioning of the penal judges of peace on May 25, 2016. The Venice Commission issued its opinion on March13, 2017 and said their jurisdiction and practices give rise to numerous concerns.

milletimizin birliğini

Lawyer Mehmet Güzel, Former President of Erzurum Bar Association

On 10th October, former President of Erzurum Bar Association, lawyer Mehmet Guzel who is under arrest since 4th August 2016, was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment with charge of to run armed terrorist organisation; along with him, 4 other lawyers (MSB, SA, ŞYL, HD) also were sentenced range to 1 and 5 years imprisonment in Erzurum.

There has been a relentless campaign of arrests which has targeted fellow lawyers across the country. In 77 of Turkey’s 81 provinces, lawyers have been detained and arrested on trumped-up charges as part of criminal investigations orchestrated by the political authorities and conducted by provincial public prosecutors.
As of today (15th November), 562 lawyers have been arrested and 1435 lawyers are under prosecution, 62 lawyers were sentenced to long imprisonment.  Some of the arrested lawyers were subjected torture and ill-treatment.

Categories: Unjust / Wrongful Convictions

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