Turkey: ICJ intervenes before European Court of Human Rights in cases of arrests under state of emergency

Turkey: ICJ intervenes before European Court of Human Rights in cases of arrests under state of emergency

The ICJ intervened today before the European Court of Human Rights in the cases of a judge and a scholar that were arrested in the wake of the state of emergency in Turkey.

Mr Hakan Baş is a judge who was dismissed and arrested under emergency legislation following the attempted coup of 15 July 2016.

Mr Seyit Ali Ablak is a teacher and was arrested in 2017 also during the state of emergency declared following the attempted coup.

They claim, among others, the violation of their right to a judicial review of detention under articles 5.3 and 5.4 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

In this intervention, the ICJ addressed the following issues:

  • the international legal and normative framework on the independence of the judiciary and the role of judges, in particular in implementation of obligations under articles 5.3 and 5.4 ECHR;
  • the current situation of the independence, governance and administration of the judiciary in Turkey, with particular regard to the Council of Judges and Prosecutors and the role of the peace judges, and their conformity with State obligations under articles 5.3 and 5.4 ECHR. The situation will be assessed with reference to the findings of an ICJ mission undertaken in May 2018 and contained in the mission report Justice Suspended.

Turkey-icj-Bas-Advocacy-legal submission-2018-ENG (download the intervention in Baş v. Turkey)

Turkey-icj-Ablak-Advocacy-legal submission-2018-ENG (download the intervention in Ablak v. Turkey)

Turkey: ICJ intervenes before European Court of Human Rights in case of detention of MP

Turkey: ICJ intervenes before European Court of Human Rights in case of detention of MP

The ICJ intervened today before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of a detained Member of the Turkish Parliament from the HDP party, Ms Burcu Çelik, arrested in 2017 under “terrorism charges”.

In this submission, the ICJ provides the Court with observations concerning the capacity of the Turkish legal system to provide effective remedies for violations under the ECHR with regard to detention, in particular detention of Members of Parliament, in light of its Convention obligations, in particular obligations under Article 5.4.

The ICJ presents its analysis of these aspects of the Turkish legal system based, in part, on information ascertained during a mission to Turkey undertaken in May 2018 and in its report Justice Suspended.

Specifically, the ICJ addresses the question as to whether the remedies of individual application before the Constitutional Court (CC) and under article 141.1 (a) and (d) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) may be considered as effective in light of the State’s obligations under articles 5.4 and 35.1 ECHR.

Turkey-icj-Celik-Advocacy-legal submission-2018-ENG (download the intervention)

UN: Procedural safeguards and civil society’s action to prevent arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance

UN: Procedural safeguards and civil society’s action to prevent arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance

The ICJ prepared an oral statement on procedural safeguards and civil society’s action to prevent arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance, for the interactive dialogue with the UN Working Groups on Arbitrary Detention and on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.

Although the statement could not ultimately be read out due to the limited time for civil society statements at the Human Rights Council, the text can found  here:

“Mr President, Chairpersons of the Working Groups,

The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) welcomes the focus of the report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on “Linkages between arbitrary detention and instances of torture and ill- treatment”.

The ICJ shares the view of the Working Group that “safeguards … to prevent” torture and ill-treatment minimize and prevent “instances of arbitrary detention” (A/HRC/39/45, para. 59, and the view that “Judicial oversight of detention is a fundamental safeguard of personal liberty ” (A/HRC/39/45, para. 60).

The ICJ further welcomes the interim report of the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances on effective investigations (A/HRC/39/46), including the finding that “relatives of the disappeared have proven to be essential in the context of investigations and should have the right to know the truth … .” (para. 65)

The ICJ however stresses that these standards are not always upheld by States in their policies and actions.

For example, in Turkey, judicial review of detention is carried out by Judgeships of the Peace whose independence is highly questionable.

Finally, with regard to enforced disappearances, the ICJ is very concerned by the actions of Turkish authorities prohibiting the Saturday Mothers to hold their weekly protests in Galatasaray Square (Istanbul) in memory of their disappeared, in breach of their right to freedom of assembly.

Events of this kind seriously weaken the procedural safeguards and the action of civil society to protect and promote the prohibition of arbitrary detention and ensure accountability against enforced disappearances.

The ICJ urges the Council to address these worrying developments.

I thank you.”

HRC39-OralStatement-WGADWGEID-2018-draft-ENG (download the statement)

 

 

 

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