Submission to the Committee against Torture’s review of Turkey at its 80th Session, 8-16 July 2024
18 juni 2024

Submission to the Committee against Torture’s review of Turkey at its 80th Session, 8-16 July 2024

Türkiye

Lawyers for Lawyers, The Law Society of England and Wales, The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and The Human Rights Implementation Centre (HRIC) submitted written information to the Committee against Torture for its consideration of the fifth periodic report of Turkey at its 80th session. The information in this report relates to topics raised in the List of Issues and responds to the periodic report.

This submission highlights a number of concerns relating to the torture convention, such as complaints of torture or ill-treatment. Multiple lawyers sustained injuries while in detention that indicate violations of UNCAT, as well as Article 7 of the ICCPR and Article 3 of the ECHR. They also indicate the use of force in a manner and context that is contrary to the Nelson Mandela Rules. The authorities have also failed to carry out an effective investigation into the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, and regarding the complaint made by Engin Gökoğlu, he has faced reprisals in violation of Article 13 of the UNCAT.

In this report, we have brought attention to the lack of prompt access to a lawyer. For example, on 25 April 2023, 25 lawyers were arbitrarily arrested and denied access to a lawyer based on decision no. 2023/1628 of the Diyarbakır 3rd Criminal Judgeship of Peace. Their lawyers were denied access to the case files, which prevented them from knowing the grounds of the arrest, further hampering their ability to effectively challenge the invocation of Article 154/2 of the Criminal Procedure Code with Decree Law no. 676.

Thoughout the report, we further discussed the independence of the judiciary and the administration of justice. We highlight issues around the diminishing independence of bar associations, the unlawful restrictions on admission to the legal profession, violations of international and domestic legal safeguards governing lawyers, the targeting of lawyers as defeders of human rights and the rule of law and we discuss specific cases of lawyers from Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği – ÇHD and others.

We have further highlighted our worries about conditions of detention, with issues such as personal searches, a lack of access to medical services and treatment and small group isolation.

We conclude the submission by calling on the Committee to urge the Government of Turkey to improve multiple aspects of the discussed topics.

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