8 January 2014 PEN INTERNATIONAL – Human rights lawyer, writer and PEN Turkey member Muharrem Erbey was arrested in Diyarbakýr, south-eastern Turkey, in December 2009. He is one of scores of lawyers, politicians, writers, journalists, publishers, trade unionists and academics detained as part of a wide-reaching anti-terror probe into pro-Kurdish intellectuals, political activists and civil society organisations in Turkey. December 2013 marked the fourth year of his incarceration as the trial against him and some 80 others continues to be heard. The next hearing of his trial is scheduled to start on 13 January 2014.

Muharrem Erbey has worked for many years as a highly respected human rights lawyer and advocate in the southeast of Turkey, compiling reports on disappearances, torture and extra-judicial killings in the region, and representing local individuals in provincial, national and international courts, including the European Court of Human Rights. In 2008, Erbey became Vice President of the Human Rights Association (ÝHD), one of Turkey’s most reputable human rights NGOs, having served as President of the Diyarbakýr branch for many years.

In addition to his work as a human rights lawyer and advocate, Erbey is also a published writer, editor and columnist, and has written numerous articles on culture and human rights for a wide range of magazines, newspapers and websites. In 2007, Erbey co-edited a collection of Turkish and Kurdish language stories by 35 authors, which was distributed to local people for free by the Diyarbakir prison, in accordance with his right to freedom of expression and association, as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention on Human and Democratic Rights, to which Turkey is a signatory.

Please Take Action

There are a number of actions that PEN members can take:

•         Write to your country’s Turkish ambassador (contact details of Turkish embassies worldwide can be found here);

•         (for European centres) Raise Muharrem Erbey’s case with your Member of European Parliament (MEP) ;

•         Write letters and postcards of support to Muharrem Erbey in prison. Such correspondence can provide an important psychological lift and has been greatly appreciated by Muharrem Erbey in the past;

•         Write blog pieces about Muharrem Erbey’s case and share these on social media, particularly around the date of his next trial session (13 January 2 014);

•         Write articles and letters that will raise awareness of Muharrem Erbey’s case in your local and national media.

Muharrem Erbey’s Prison Address

Muharrem Erbey

Diyarbakýr D Tipi Yüksek Güvenlikli Kapalý Ceza Ýnfaz Kurumu

Diyarbakýr – Turkey

Please let us know of any action you take, and of any responses you receive from officials or from Muharrem Erbey himself by emailing PEN International’s Turkey researcher,