Political trials against lawyers and political activists in Turkey and other countries

01.01.-31.12.2019 Ankara, Gümüşhane, Istanbul, Munich, Rabat, Kiev

ELDH will try to send observers to the following trials. These trials are observed by many lawyers from different organisations in Europe. Colleagues who wish to participate in the trial observation should get into contact with ELDH: trialobservation@eldh.eu

ELDH Guide on Trial Observations

UN Basic principles on the role of lawyers

In Turkey

International Law Breaches Concerning the Independence of Legal Profession in Turkey (The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, The Law Society of England and Wales)

CHD Trials I and II (trials against lawyers of the Progressive Lawyers Association (Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği) CHD. CHD is a member organisation of ELDH.

  • CHD Trial I, 6 March 2019, Istanbul: Continuation of the trial against 22 lawyers who are all leading members of the ELDH member organisation CHD. The Trial started on 24 December 2013
    Reports on the hearing on 23 May 2018
    ELDH observer (download PDF-file)
    DEFENSE SANS FRONTIERE – AVOCATS SOLIDAIRES observers, report 23 May 2018 (download PDF-file)
    DEFENSE SANS FRONTIERE – AVOCATS SOLIDAIRES observers, report 24 October 2018 (download PDF-file)
  • CHD Trial II, 18-19-20-21 March 2019, Silivri prison camp (near Istanbul): against Selçuk KOZAGAÇLI (CHD President) and 19 other CHD lawyers (CHD lawyers trial II): list of defendants Behiç Aşçı, Oya  Aslan, Didem Baydar Ünsal, Ayşegül Çağatay, Ezgi Çakır, Aycan Çiçek, Günay Dağ, Naciye Demir, Şükriye Erden, Yağmur Ereren Evin, Engin Gökoğlu, Süleyman Gökten, Selçuk Kozağaçlı, Ahmet Mandacı, Zehra Özdemir, Barkın Timtik, Ebru Timtik, Yaprak Türkmen, Aytaç Ünsal, Özgür Yılmaz (ELDH Statement).
    At the end of the fifth day of the trial, the court decided to release all 17 lawyers from pre-trial detention. The release took place early on Saturday morning. However 24 hours later on request of the prosecutor, the court decided without any new reasons to arrest 12 of them again, among them the ÇHD President Selçuk KOZAGAÇLI. Another court will decide about the remaining 5 cases in which the court rejected the request of the prosecutor. Some of the released lawyers were re-arrested a few hours later. The re-arrested lawyers will object against the new court decision.
    The trial started on 10 September 2018, Silivri
    Trial observation report (10 to 14 September 2018)
    ELDH Statement (16 September 2018)
    Trial observation report (3 to 5 December 2018)

ÖHP Trials I and II (trials against lawyers of the Asrın LawOffice, members of ÖHP, former ÖHD, Platform of Lawyers for Freedom (Özgürlükçü Hukukçular Platformu), ÖHP ). ÖHD is a member organisation of ELDH.

  • ÖHP – Trial I, 5 March 2019, Istanbul Continuation of the trial against 46 lawyers (Asrın LawOffice,referred to historically as the “KCK Lawyers Trial” ), who had among others alleged members of KCK as clients.
    The trial started on 16 July 2012.
    The case was adjourned to 5th March 2019 for the Supreme Court to decide whether the current case should be joined with any of the other prosecutions. Further decisions will be needed if joinder takes place concerning the appropriate court in which the joined proceedings should take place.
    The report on the last hearing in December 2017
    The report on the hearing in May 2018
    Asrin Office Lawyers Case I – October 2018
  • ÖHP – Trial II, 23 May 2019 Istanbul, against Ramazan Demir and other lawyers from the Asrın LawOffice.
    Continuation of the trial against lawyers and human rights defenders Ramazan Demir, Hüseyin Boğatekin, Ayşe Acinikli, İrfan Arasan, ŞefikÇelik, Adem Çalışçı, Ayşe Gösterişlioğlu Başar, Tamer Doğan, Mustafa Rüzgar, Sinan Zincir, Raziye Turgut and Ruhşen Mahmutoğlu as members of the human rights association for prisoners TUHAD-FED. They all are members of the Istanbul Bar, the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) and the Libertarian Lawyers Association (ÖHD).
    DSF AS Rapport OHD II – 11 décembre 2018

In Spain

Madrid, Supreme Court: Catalan referendum case, trial against former Catalan ministers, pro-independence activists, and the former parliament speaker Oriol Junqueras, Raül Romeva, Jordi Turull, Josep Rull, Joaquim Forn, Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Cuixart, Dolors Bassa, Carme Forcadell, Meritxell Borràs, Carles Mundó and Santi Vila. The defendants are charged by the Public Prosecutor’s Office with the crimes of rebellion, sedition, disobedience and embezzlement of public funds, for which it has requested 177 years’ imprisonment.

Conclusion by the European Democratic Lawyers

Report by Professor Bill Bowring (ELDH President) 19 and 20 February 2019


Other trials in Turkey or other countries will be announced as soon as the details are known.