Trial observation at Yassa-Ada, Turkey

The ICJ announced today that it has delegated Mr. Raymond Nicolet, the well-known Geneva attorney, to observe on its behalf the judicial proceedings at Yassa-Ada, Turkey. 

Over 400 members of the former Menderes Government and of the Parliamentary group of the democratic Party are being tried before the Supreme Court of Justice. Mr. Nicolet has arrived in Istanbul on Friday, October 21.

It will be remembered that on May 27, 1960, a Committee of National Unity seized in a bloodless revolution political power in Turkey, deposed and arrested the Government of Prime Minister Menderes and established a new regime pledged to uphold the liberal traditions of the country. During the months preceding this revolution, the International Commission of Jurists has followed with growing concern the gradual deterioration of the situation in Turkey. Restrictions of civil liberties have been multiplying at an alarming rate. (Bulletin of the International Commission of Jurists, No.8, December 1958, p. 29). The Commission hopes sincerely that the new government of National Unity will succeed to eliminate practices offending against fundamental rights and freedoms of the Turkish people and to establish to the fullest extent the Rule of Law in the Republic.

The International Commission of Jurists is a non-governmental and non-political organization, which has Consultative Status, Category “B”, with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It draws its support from some 36,000 judges, law teachers, practitioners of law and other members of the legal community and their associations throughout the world. Its main objective is – through practical action – to clarify, promote and defend the Rule of Law, to strengthen the legal procedures and institutions associated therewith in those countries where the Rule of Law is already established and to obtain its acceptance wherever it is denied. Among its current undertakings is the organization of an African Conference on the Rule of Law to be held next January in Nigeria where a great number of African jurists will meet to discuss several topics relating to the administration of justice and fundamental rights in the new states of Africa.

In the field of publications the International Commission is now engaged in preparing reports on legal aspects of the situation in South Africa, Spain and Cuba. The report of its Legal Inquiry Committee on Tibet and the People’s Republic of China was recently published and attracted considerable attention. The Commission is also at the present time investigating matters concerning the administration of justice and, more generally, the question of violation of human rights in Angola (Portuguese Africa), and the Dominican Republic.

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