Press conference in Italy highlights dramatic repression facing lawyers in Turkey

The Giuristi Democratici (Italian Democratic Jurists), an IADL member organization, organized a press conference together with the National Bar Association and the Union of Criminal Chambers in Rome on 5 April, in which speakers addressed the repression faced by lawyers in Turkey. The press conference took place on the Day of the Lawyer in Turkey, shortly after 18 progressive lawyers from the CHD (Contemporary Lawyers Association) and HHB (People’s Law Office) were sentenced to a collective 160 years in prison on 22 March 2019.

The press conference, entitled “The rule of law on trial,” outlined the dramatic repression facing lawyers in Turkey. The case was riddled with procedural and substantive errors and clearly stands out as a political persecution targeting progressive lawyers who defend social justice advocates and movement organizers in Turkey. Among those imprisoned is Selcuk Kozagacli, a member of the Bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers, who was sentenced to 10 years and 15 months in prison for his legal work.

Fabio Marcelli, IADL Bureau Member, spoke on behalf of the Democratic Jurists at the press conference; he was part of an international delegation that observed the final days of the Turkish lawyers’ trial. He is joined at the press conference by:

  • Eriberto Rosso, secretary of the Union of Criminal Chambers
  • Michela Arricale, lawyer and member of the board of European Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH)
  • Francesco Caia, coordinator of the Human Rights Commission of the Italian National Bar Association
  • Giampaolo Caretta, lawyer and member of the Observatory on Threatened Lawyers
  • Ezio Menzione, member of the Council of the Union of Italian Penal Chambers
  • Barbara Spinelli, representative of the Democratic Jurists and the ELDH’s Observer mission to Turkey

The full video of the press conference is below (in Italian):

Read the original report in Italian: https://www.radioradicale.it/scheda/570537/conferenza-stampa-il-processo-allo-stato-di-diritto-turchia-le-cifre-drammatiche-della