Joint statement on the ÇHD 1 trial
Lawyers for Lawyers, together with thirteen other signatories, issued a joint statement on the ÇHD 1 trial, in which a hearing will take place today.
On 11 November 2020, the ÇHD I criminal case, which started in 2013, will continue at the 1st instance, before the 18th Heavy Penal Court in Istanbul. The victims of this long lasting trial are the accused 22 lawyers, all members of the Turkish Lawyers’ Organization ÇHD (Progressive Lawyers of Turkey) and all working in one of the two offices of the People’s Law Office.
In 2018, the prosecution initiated a second criminal case (ÇHD II). Of the 20 lawyers accused in the ÇHD II case, 8 were also accused in the ÇHD I case. In the ÇHDII case, thirteen lawyers have been in custody since September 2017. Half a year after the opening of the proceedings, the accused were sentenced to prison terms between 2 and over 18 years. The sentences were largely confirmed in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
A fact-finding mission conducted in October 2019 by 23 lawyers’ organizations and bar associations from all over the world, pointed out violations of the `principles of fair trial in the two ÇHD trials in its analysis and report “Fact-finding mission on CHD’s trials, Breach of Fair Trial, Independence of the Judiciary and Principles, on the Role of Lawyers, October 2019, Istanbul” published in June 2020.
In the joint statement, the signatories call on the Turkish authorities, specifically the prosecution, to either acquit the accused or to close the case all together.
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