Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of Canadian lawyers who promote human rights and the rule of law internationally addressed a letter to urge the immediate release of Turkish lawyer Mustafa Aydin who is terminally ill and has been under arrest since 2016 August.
“LRWC is gravely concerned for the health, liberty and safety of Turkish lawyer Mustafa Aydin. Mr. Aydin has been detained since 16 August 2016, and over a year later was charged under Article 314/2 of the Turkish Penal Code. It is our understanding that Mr. Aydin is suffering from prostate cancer and a hernia, and requires immediate expert medical treatment and ongoing care to address his medical conditions and extend his life. LRWC urges the Government of Turkey to immediately release Mr. Aydin so that he can obtain the medical treatment and care he urgently requires.” was said in the letter.
“Mr. Aydin is being charged, under Article 314 (2) of the Turkish Penal Code, with membership in an armed terrorist organization, an offence carrying a penalty of up to 22.5 years in prison. It is believed Mr. Aydin was detained, arrested and charged solely on the basis of allegations of association with the Gulen Movement, designated by the Government of Turkey as an armed terrorist organization. The Penal Code does not define what constitutes an armed terrorist organization or the criteria for what constitutes membership and, absent these definitions, Article 314 (2) can be, and has been, arbitrarily used to criminalize a wide range of legal activities including the lawful exercise of internationally protected rights to expression and association. This provision of the Turkish Penal Code has been actively abused by the Government of Turkey to detain, arrest and arbitrarily convict lawyers acting for clients or causes unpopular with the authorities or otherwise seen as government critics. The vague formulation and broad interpretation of the law by the Turkish government puts all lawyers and other human rights defenders at risk of arbitrary detention and wrongful prosecution and conviction. Targeting of lawyers and others has become common since July 2016.” was said in the letter signed by Brian M. Samuels and Gail Davidson (LRWC Executive Director)
Finally, the LRWC said that “Turkey has a legal obligation to provide timely and sufficient medical care to Mr. Aydin while he is in detention. Failure to provide treatment is a violation of Mr. Aydin’s right to life. LRWC urges you to take all necessary actions to ensure the immediate release of Mustafa Aydin so he can seek urgent medical treatment and care.”
Full letter of the LRWC: Mustafa Aydin.Turkey.17.April,2018
Related news, our urgent action campaign for Mustafa Aydın: https://arrestedlawyers.org/2018/04/16/urgent-action-call-16-april-2018/
Categories: Int'l Reactions