Levent Pişkin acquitted
20 november 2020

Levent Pişkin acquitted

Turkey

Levent Pişkin, a prominent human rights lawyer and defender from Turkey, has been acquitted of all charges at the final hearing in his court case held on 18 November 2020.

The judicial harassment of Mr. Pişkin started three years ago. According to our information, Mr. Piskin was taken into custody on 14 November 2016 in a police raid conducted to his house in Istanbul. At the time of his arrest Mr Piskin was representing the arrested former HDP Co-Chari Selahattin Demirtas. It was alleged in the media that Mr. Piskin would give Demirtas’s messages to a magazine in Germany so they could be used for purposes of propaganda. After giving a statement at the prosecutor’s office in Bursa, Mr. Pişkin was released after three days on condition of judicial control. In April 2017, Mr. Pişkin was, along with 11 other people, indicted by the Bursa Chief Public Prosecutor and accused of “membership of the terrorist organization” and “making propaganda for the organization”. The fact that Pişkin visited his client Selahattin Demirtaş in prison by using his lawyer identity card and WhatsApp messages of the lawyer were cited as criminal evidence.

We were informed that during a hearing in the case, in September 2020, the Public Prosecutor has reiterated the remarks uttered in the indictment, demanding that lawyer Mr. Pişkin has to be penalized on charges of “propagandizing for the organization” and “membership of the organization”, under Article 314/2 of the Turkish Penal Code. The evidence and statements presented by the defense during the hearings in almost three years of trial proceedings is not reflected in the final opinion of the prosecutor.

In a letter that was sent to the Turkish authorities in October 2020, Lawyers for Lawyers expressed concern about the legal proceedings initiated against Mr. Pişkin.

And now, after almost three years of trial proceedings, Levent Pişkin has been acquitted of all charges. Lawyers for Lawyers will continue its efforts to ensure that all lawyers in Turkey are able to carry out their legitimate professional activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

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