Lawyers for Lawyers nominates Can Atalay for the International Hrant Dink Award
9 May 2022

Lawyers for Lawyers nominates Can Atalay for the International Hrant Dink Award

Türkiye

Lawyers for Lawyers is proud to support the nomination of Can Atalay for the International Hrant Dink Award.

Annually, this award is presented to individuals, organisations and groups that give inspiration and hope to people for holding on to their struggle, that work for a more liberal and fair world free from discrimination, racism and violence, who take personal risks for achieving those ideals, who break the stereotypes and use the language of peace. Lawyers for Lawyers would like to use the opportunity of this nomination to celebrate the work of lawyers such as Mr. Atalay. We encourage them to continue fighting for their ideals, and want to let them know we see their struggle, and that they aren’t alone in all of this.

Can Atalay is a human rights lawyer, activist, board member of the Sosyal Haklar Derneği and a spokesperson and founder of Taksim Dayanışması. Aside from his work as an activist in the Gezi Park protests, he was involved in many politically sensitive cases in his capacity as a lawyer. Examples include his work in the trial against Berkin Elvan’s killer, the Soma mining disaster and the Aladağ dormitory fire. Throughout his work, Mr. Atalay has strived to protect human rights in the face of an increasingly authoritative government. Both in and outside of his professional capacity as a lawyer, and despite the risk involved with such activities, Mr. Atalay has remained vocal and defiant in the face of government opposition throughout the years. This stance has come at a great personal cost: following court proceedings widely regarded to constitute a show trial, he was found guilty of assisting the attempted overthrow of the government. This resulted in him being sentenced to an 18-year jail sentence on 25 April 2022. Mr. Atalay however continues his fight from prison, where he’s carried on demanding justice, and remains certain of victory to come. In doing so, he’s proven himself to be a true leading light and inspiration to all human rights defenders who struggle for their ideals in face of government repression.

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