Human Rights Monitoring Group Update – July 21, 2016
The Human Rights Monitoring Group is a group of appointed benchers, established in 2006 to monitor human rights violations that target members of the legal profession and the judiciary as a result of the discharge of their legitimate professional duties.
Today, the Law Society released a public statement expressing grave concerns about the mass arrests and suspensions of lawyers and judges in Turkey.
Reports indicate that following a failed military coup d’état attempt in Turkey on Friday, July 15, 2016, approximately 755 judges and prosecutors have been detained. Furthermore, an additional 2,745 judges and prosecutors have been suspended by the Turkish High Council of Judges and Prosecutors.
Human rights organizations note that there is no evidence to support the allegations that the judges and prosecutors in question were linked to the attempted coup.
The Law Society has noted that since 2014, a number of lawyers and judges have faced barriers to their abilities to exercise their legitimate duties, including attacks and threats; prosecutions; and sanctions against judges who make controversial or unpopular rulings.
The Law Society believes strongly that the protection of judicial independence and the independence of the legal profession are essential to the maintenance of the rule of law and strongly urges the government of Turkey to comply with its obligations under international human rights laws.