Joint oral statement to Human Rights Council on Türkiye and China
On 19 September 2022, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and Lawyers for Lawyers delivered an oral statement on the systematic pattern of arbitrary detention of lawyers in Türkiye and China. The statement was delivered during the 51st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The statement reads as follows:
This is a joint statement of Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, and Lawyers for Lawyers.
Several countries systematically use arbitrary detention of lawyers to deprive human rights defenders of legal representation and access to justice. The Working Group notes that “…under certain circumstances, widespread or systematic imprisonment or other severe deprivation of liberty … may constitute crimes against humanity.”
Türkiye, systematically misuses overbroad anti-terrorism laws to arbitrarily detain hundreds of lawyers and defenders. We urge Türkiye to accept the Working Group’s request for a country visit, without any further delay.
China, a member of this Council, continues its systematic practice of arbitrary detention of lawyers and defenders. 4 The former High Commissioner recently noted that “UN human rights bodies have found that China’s system of Residential Surveillance constitutes arbitrary detention and have called for its repeal.”5 The recent OHCHR assessment on Xinjiang notes allegations of “arbitrary detention on a broad scale”6 with no access to lawyers or fair trials.7 We urge the Council to create an independent mechanism to thoroughly investigate allegations of gross, widespread and systematic human rights violations in China.
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