Lawyers Sercan Aran and Deniz Can Aydin who are the members of the Ankara Bar Association’s Prison Watch Commission were intimidated by Ankara Sincan Prison Administration and threatened by guards, where they went to meet with four inmates who were allegedly victims of enforced disappearances. (Click here to see the related report.) Today, Ankara Bar Association announced that the Bar lodged a criminal complaint with the Ankara (West) Prosecutor’s Office against the prison guards.
The prison administration only allowed Salim Zeybek, among the four, to meet with the lawyers, the report said. Zeybek, a former public servant dismissed by a government decree after a 2016 coup attempt, told the lawyers that he was not abducted by any state official.
The meeting was conducted in the presence of a guard and was recorded.
Dozens of people were reportedly abducted by intelligence officers after the coup attempt, but only two people so far have revealed that they were kept unlawfully in a detention center and subjected to torture.
Zeybek claimed that he was with the three others and hiding from the police for six months before turning themselves in and that they did not feel the need to contact their families.
The families of the then-missing men had run an effective social media campaign to find their loved ones.
After the meeting with Zeybek, the guard seized the notes taken by the lawyers, and used threatening language, according to the report. Today, Ankara Bar Association announced that the Bar lodged a criminal complaint with the Ankara (West) Prosecutor’s Office against the prison guards.
According to Art. 16 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, Governments shall ensure that lawyers (a) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; (b) are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad; and (c) shall not suffer, or be threatened with, prosecution or administrative, economic or other sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.