Obituary for Tahir Elçi
Today Lawyers for Lawyers, together with 35 organizations and lawyers, put two obituaries (click here, and here) in two Turkish newspapers in honor of lawyer Tahir Elçi. Elçi was shot in the head in broad daylight last Saturday, immediately after a press conference, and died on the spot. Lawyers for Lawyers would like to offer sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Elçi.
During the press conference, Elçi, a widely respected human rights lawyer, called for an end to the rising violence which has held Turkey in its grip for months.
Since 1992, Elçi worked tirelessly and with a risk to his own life for the victims of human rights violations in south-eastern Turkey, caused by the conflict between the Turkish army and the PKK. He brought several cases before the European Court of Human Rights. During the recent turmoil in South-East Turkey, he organized, in his capacity as Dean of the Bar Association of Diyarbakir, fact-finding missions and documented human rights violations.
Lawyers for Lawyers and the organization Fair Trial Watch have for some time had grave concerns about the increasing impunity and numerous human rights violations in Turkey. Last month, FTW and Lawyers for Lawyers, together with three lawyers from Turkey, brought these matters to the attention of the Dutch Parliament by means of a petition. The murder of Tahir Elçi is a tragic and striking example of this escalating situation.
Please also see to the letter that Lawyers for Lawyers, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada and FTW wrote to the Turkish authorities in October 2015, after a criminal investigation was launched against Elçi in connection with his remarks on CNN Turk.
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