The Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, alongside our comrades across Europe, condemn the Turkish Minister of Interior’s ban on the Progressive Lawyers Association (CHD) and offer our solidarity to the Turkish lawyers in their fight for human rights and justice under the present Turkish regime.
The Haldane Society echoes the demand of the ELDH and EDL that the Turkish government respects the professional work and role of lawyers, and complies in particular with Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as Art. 16 and 18 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.
We have reproduced below the press release of our European affiliates ELDH and EDL:
On Friday 11th November the Turkish Minister of Interior, announced a three month ban of all activities of the Progressive Lawyers Association (CHD), an organisation affiliated with the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) and the Freedom Lawyers Association (ÖHD). Both are also affiliated to the European Association for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH). The ban is based on art. 11 of the emergency laws.
The Minister is justifying this ban by referring to activities of our Turkish colleagues as a “threat to national security”. The offices of CHD and ÖHD have been sealed.
CHD was founded in 1974 and has 11 branches and more than 3000 members. CHD is presently conducting a campaign against torture in Turkey, an inhumane practice that increased significantly after the attempted coup of July 15 2016 and the intensification of the war against the Kurdish autonomist movement.
This unjustified attack against CHD and ÖHD is a flagrant violation of the freedom of association, the rights of human rights defenders, and the right of arrestees to an effective defence.
We, democratic lawyers and human rights defenders who are participating in the international conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations covenants on human rights, vigorously condemn this new attack of the Erdogan administration against its opponents.
We demand that these attacks against lawyers critical of government policies cease immediately, and that the state of emergency be ended forthwith. This governmental action is a pretext for massive violations of the fundamental rights of the Turkish people and their legal representatives.