The International Association of Democratic Lawyers sent the following letter to the Progressive Lawyers’ Association (CHD) of Turkey on the occasion of its general assembly and refounding conference on 18-19 January 2020. The CHD is a member association of the IADL. Selcuk Kozagacli, CHD representative on the IADL Bureau, is currently imprisoned with dozens of other Turkish lawyers jailed as political prisoners.
The letter was sent, as follows, by IADL President Jeanne Mirer:
To Our Cherished Friends and Comrades in the CHD
On behalf of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers I send you warm greetings on the occasion of your general assembly. IADL has been standing with you in your fight against the arrests and convictions of your members, and in particular the arrest and convictions of your and our leader Selcuk Kozagacli.
IADL has been so inspired by the courage and commitment the members of CHD have shown in the struggles to support social movements at the same time as fighting the repression against you for representing your clients. CHD is a shining example of people’s lawyering. You inspire us and we honor you.
IADL is further committed to fighting for the freedom of the lawyers who have been wrongfully convicted. We know that the cases against those convicted dragged on for years and were riddled with numerous procedural and substantive irregularities, from the replacement of the judge on the case to the introduction of evidence hidden from the defense. It is clear that the prosecutions of CHD members, like other prosecutions of opposition figures in Turkey are purely political designed to criminalize legal work on behalf of social movements. We are committed to doing all we can to fight for the release of our comrades.
We congratulate you on organizing your general assembly on the important topic of “The Crisis of Capitalism and the Law of Crisis” under these harsh conditions and wish you all success in building a strong progressive bar association in Turkey.