Events & Conferences

Event dates: 02.09.17 to 16.12.17 | Location: Ankara, Gümüşhane, Istanbul, Munich, Rabat, Kiev

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

ELDH will try to send observers to the following trials

In Turkey

  • 6 September 2017, Ankara: The trial against Selahattin Demirtas, co-chair of HDP
  • 7 September 2017, Gümüşhane, High Criminal Court: Continuation of the trial against the lawyer Deniz Sürgüt who was arrested by İdil Criminal Court on Duty while in Şırnak to report the human rights violations, on 6th of August 2015. The lawyer Deniz Sürgüt, is a member of Libertarian Lawyers Association ÖHD (which has been banned together with 29 other lawyers organisations in the meantime) and also an active executive of Istanbul branch of Human Rights Association. After almost 2 years of pre-trial detentionhe has been released together with another defendant.
    Report of the first hearing,
    Report of the hearing on 21 April 2017
  • 11 September 2017, Istanbul: Continuation of the "Cumhürriyet 17" trial against 17 Cumhürriyet employees.
  • 13 September 2017, Istanbul: Continuation of the trial against lawyers and human rights defenders Mr. Ramazan Demir, Mr. Hüseyin Boğatekin, Ms. 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).
  • 14 September 2017, Ankara: Nuriye Gülmen and Semih Özakça's trial, two teachers who are on hunger strike for more than 5 months
  • 15 September 2017, Malataya: Sebahat Tuncel and Gultan Kisanak (HDP MPs) trial

  • 18 September 2017, Ankara: Continuation of the trial against Figen Yüksekda, co-chair of HDP. Her indictment contains the following charges:
  • Establishing or directing armed terrorist organization, making propaganda of a terrorist organization, inciting people to hatred and enmity, inciting people to commit a crime, inciting people to break the law, participation in unlawful meetings and demonstrations. Her indictment consists of 8 separate files compiled together. Almost all of the files are about speeches she made as the leader of a political party. Evidence cited from her speeches includes:
    • Describing the demonstrations during curfews in Kurdish cities as “resistance”;
    • Supporting “democratic self-administration”, a fact which is openly written in HDP’s party program;
    • Describing the killings of hundreds of civilians in the operations carried out by state security forces as “massacre”.
    Beside this, one of the files is related to the call to protest the siege of Kobane issued by HDP Central Executive Committee on 6 October 2014.
  • On the first session on 4 July 2017 all foreign observers were excluded under the pretext that they didn't have applied for an accreditation
  • 2 November 2017, 14h00, Istanbul: Trial against Lawyer Barkın Timtik, board member of the banned lawyers organisation CHD. Together with many other defendants she is accused of being member of a terrorist organisation. She was arrested on 15 December 2016 and is in prison since then. There are reports that she was tortured during her detention period and also that she was phsyically attacked while she had been exiled from one prison to an another. She could not access to her lawyers for the first days of her detention. She is also accused in the CHD Lawyers trial.
  • 16 November 2017 at 10:00 Istanbul: Continuation of the trial against the suspect of the killing of Berkin Elvan, a 14 years old boy who was hit by a piper gas canister shot by the police during the Uprising in June 2013 (Gezi Park Protests). He died on 11 March 2014.
  • 5 December 2017, 13h30, Istanbul: Continuation of the trial against 46 lawyers, who had among others alleged members of KCK as clients. The trial started on 16 July 2012.
    The report on the last hearing
  • 6 December 2017, 10h30 Instanbul: 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
  • Istanbul: Continuation of the trial against the first four "Academics for Peace" out of over 2000. In January 2016, 2,218 scholars from Turkey signed a petition titled “We will not be a party to this crime,” also known as the Peace Petition. ​Since then the signatories (“Academics for Peace”) have been subject to heavy pressure and persecution. Hun​dreds of them have faced criminal and disciplinary investigations, custody, imprisonment, or violent threats. Several academics have been dismissed or suspended, some were forced to resign or leave the country.

In Morocco

  • 19 July 2017, Criminal Section of the Rabat Tribunal,the Rabat Court of Appeals sentenced the 24 defendants to prison terms ranging from two years to life imprisonment in connection with the clashes that followed the forcible dismantlement of a protest camp in Gdim Izik, Western Sahara, in 2010, killing 11 members of the security forces and two Sahrawi protesters.
  • This trial was necessary because of a decision of the Moroccan Supreme Court of 27 July 2016, which nullified the previous decisions of the Military Tribunal of 23 February 2013 condemning the militants to heavy detention terms:  nine received life sentences, 14 received terms between 20 and 30 years, and 2 were sentenced to the 2 years that they had already spent in pre-trial detention.
    Statement of the international observers after the hearing on 5 June 2017

In Ukraine

The case at the Kiev Appeal Administrative Court concerning the banning imposed on the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU)

The Ministry of Justice released an order to ban the Communist Party of Ukraine (CPU) on the 23rd of July 2015 due to the alleged violation of the Law of Ukraine «On condemning the communist and national-socialist (Nazi) totalitarian regimes In Ukraine and the prohibition of propaganda of their symbols», the so called Decommunization Laws currently in force at national level. The Ministry of Justice motivated the ban on the mere fact that the word communism or a derivate is contained in the name of the party itself.

The judges decided to wait for the decision of the Ukrainian Constitutional Court on the aforementioned Decommunization Laws

Report of our trial observer (download PDF-file)

In Hungary

15 June 2017, Szeged, case against Ahmed H. – a Syrian national with Cypriot residence permit - accused of illegal border crossing and terrorism

Trial observation report (English)

Trial observation report (German)

In Germany

  • Monday and Friday every week until September 2017, Munich, trial against alleged members of ATIK and TKP/ML.

Details about the trial

Statement of 4 German lawyers organisations (in German).

Colleagues who wish to participate are requested to let us know in advance so that we can take the necessary organisational measures. Observers who need an interpreter should let us know early enough so that we can try to help them.