Open Letter to Dominic Raab: Release Political Prisoners in Turkey.

Rt. Hon. Dominic Raab MP

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
Whitehall
London SW1A 2AH

Dear Foreign Secretary

Ref. Release political prisoners in Turkey

We are deeply concerned about the situation for political prisoners in Turkey. It is of great importance that we don’t allow the accelerating spread of corona virus across the world to provide cover for further violations against those who are in prison, particularly those who are there simply for the expression of peaceful opinions.

We are aware of reports that the Turkish government is engaged in the preparation of a law that will result in the release up to 100,000 prisoners. While this appears to be a progressive step there remains a real danger that political prisoners will not be included in the proposed amnesty. This would be an appalling state of affairs. The spread of corona virus in prisons will result in a deadly outcome for many, especially for older prisoners and those with underlying health conditions. The risks for these prisoners, who have committed no internationally recognised crimes, will be exacerbated by the overcrowding and insanitary conditions in which they are held.  We are concerned that the continuing incarceration in these conditions amounts to a potential death sentence. Continue reading “Open Letter to Dominic Raab: Release Political Prisoners in Turkey.”

Sixth Hearing of Demirtas Trial Takes Place in Ankara

Written by Margaret Owen (International Trial Observer and Barrister)

On Wednesday 12th December 2018, Solicitor-Advocate Ali Has, Thomas Phillips of Liverpool University, and myself arrive in Ankara to attend the sixth hearing of the case against Selahattin Demirtas, former co-chair of Turkey’s HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party). Demirtas was arrested on 4th November 2016 together with co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ and seven other MPs. He has been in pre-trial detention at Edirne Prison since his arrest. Continue reading “Sixth Hearing of Demirtas Trial Takes Place in Ankara”