ELDH protests against the new arrest of lawyers in Turkey

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In November 5 lawyers, all of them members of the ELDH member organisation ÖHD (Lawyers for Freedom) were arrested because of their legal professional activities. Their names are Kemal Akalin, Zakir Dündar, Yüksel Genc, Ahmet Hartavi and Fuat Sengül. In the meantime Kemal Akalin, Zakir Dündar, Yüksel Genc, and Ahmet Hartavi were released.

The member of İzmir Bar Association attorney Fuat Şengül was detained by the Balikesir Criminal Judge of Peace on 20 November 2019. The police and the prosecutor interrogated him solely regarding his legal professional advocacy activities. It was observed from the questions asked, that they intended to criminalize ÖHD by asking him whether he is a member of Association of Lawyers for Freedom.

Attorney Fuat Şengül is being kept in isolation and in extremely bad conditions at Balıkesir Kepsut Prison. He was not able to eat and drink water during first day of his imprisonment and his clothes, shoes and basic needs were not provided for the first four days.

ELDH is alarmed about the information, that although he is suffering from high blood pressure, Fuat Sengül was not allowed to take medication from a doctor in prison.

ELDH demands that the Turkish authorities

  • secure the immediate release of the detained lawyer Fuat Sengül, who has only fulfilled his professional duties
  • provide to attorney Fuat Şengül access to the necessary medical care and to the necessary medicines,
  • avoid any measures that could endanger his physical and mental health, in particular any measures which could amount to torture and violate Turkish Criminal Code, Article 94 and Art. 3 ECHR,
  • to guarantee unrestricted application of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, in particular Art. 16 (Governments shall ensure that lawyers ( a ) are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference) and Art. 18 (Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients‘ causes as a result of discharging their functions)