European Lawyers protest against excessive state violence

ANF – 12.06.2013 –  The European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH) issued a press release protesting against excessive state violence, mass arrests and suppression of democratic rights people suffer during Gezi Park protests.

ELHD said that “Yesterday, Tuesday 11 June 2013, shortly after noon, at least 47 lawyers (as far as we have been informed), were arrested and subjected to police violence in Çağlayan Court, İstanbul. They were sitting in the hall of the Court in solidarity with the Gezi Park demonstration, and were issuing a press statement. Most of them were beaten and injured by the police during the arrest. After their arrest they were brought to the Anti-Terror Branch of İstanbul Police Headquarters. They were detained in custody for several hours, handcuffed, waiting in a bus in front of the police station, before they were finally released”.

The statement underlined that, “We, European lawyers, from 18 European countries, united in the European Association of Lawyers for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH), protest in the strongest possible terms against this new mass arrest of lawyers in Turkey. The violence perpetrated by the government against the people who are protesting against the ruination of Gezi Park is intensifying. The reaction of the protesters is directed against the anti-democratic administration of the government, against the prevention and suppression by force of fundamental rights and freedoms”.

ELDH condemns without reservation this excessive state violence as it has been practised for almost two weeks now against peaceful demonstrators in Turkey. The Turkish government continues with the cruel and hostile attacks against the protestors in İstanbul and other provinces of Turkey. Today police entered Taksim Square and brutally attacked the protestors, using gas bombs, water cannon and paint cartridges. There are claims that plastic bullets were used, which have not yet been confirmed.

ELDH demands from the Turkish Government;

–  The full application of all international and European treaties ratified by Turkey concerning civil liberties, in particular the INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS, the right to assembly (Art. 21), the interdiction of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (Art. 7), the interdiction of arbitrary arrest (Art. 9), EUROPEAN CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS, freedom of expression (Art. 10), freedom of assembly (Art. 10), prohibition of torture or degrading treatment (Art. 3)

– An immediate end to state violence against peaceful demonstrators

– An immediate investigation into the accountability of government officials and policemen for the severe violation of human rights

– The immediate release of all other demonstrators

– A democratic solution for the demands of the protestors

ELDH demands from the European Union and its’ member states to use all their political influence to stop the state violence in Turkey and to establish the rule of law.