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Selçuk Kozağaçlı

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Selçuk Kozağaçlı Turkish attorney and President of the Progressive Lawyers Association was remanded in custody

 Friday, November 17th, 2017

The International Observatory for Lawyers in Danger (OIAD) expresses, once again, its deepest concern after the new mass arrest that targeted several Turkish lawyers over the past few days and strongly condemns the provisional detention of Selçuk Kozağaçlı, President of the Progressive Lawyers Association.

After criticizing, during the Ankara Bar General Assembly of October 16th, the systematic acts of torture against persons arrested and suspected of belonging to the gülennist movement, Selçuk Kozağaçlı was arrested on November 8th. He was placed in provisional detention on November 14th and is prosecuted under charges of belonging to a terrorist organization.

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Selçuk Kozağaçlı is an international renowned human rights defense lawyer. The OIAD have mobilized on his behalf in the past. Several attorneys, members of the Association he presides, have already faced criminal prosecutions on terrorism-related charges for defending lawyers who were themselves prosecuted for practicing their profession.

The OIAD calls on Turkish authorities to respect the Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers, adopted by the United Nations in Havana, Cuba, in 1990, which provides that:

Lawyers shall not be identified with their clients or their clients’ causes as a result of discharging their functions.” (Principle 18);

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.” (Principle 16).

The OIAD also reminds that under principle I.3 of the Council of Europe Committee of Minister’s Recommendation No. R2000 (21) to member States on the freedom of exercise of the profession of lawyer: “lawyers should enjoy freedom of belief, expression, movement, association and assembly (…).”

In the absence of evidences on his involvement in the Commission, the OIAD urges the Turkish authorities to drop all the charges brought against Selçuk Kozağaçlı and to guarantee his freedom and security and wishes to express him its entire solidarity, as well as to the 555 other Turkish lawyers currently detained.