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Mexico: IBAHRI and 17 international civil society organisations have released a report on fair trials and the Ebru Timtik Award

Tuesday 28 May 2024

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Last year, on 14 June 2023, around 300 human rights lawyers, judges, reporters and associations worldwide attended, online and in-person, the third International Fair Trial Day (IFTD) and Ebru Timtik Award, co-hosted by the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and partnering international civil society organisations.

The event brought together eminent lawyers, human rights defenders, victims and academics from Mexico as panellists, as well as members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights in addition to the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyersMargaret Satterthwaite.

The report released today summarises the issues addressed at the event, especially those relating to the fair trial abuses and violations occurring in Mexico. The panellists addressed issues such as: the excessive use of pretrial detention and the constitutional requirement that judges impose mandatory pre-trial detention on some crimes; attacks to judicial independence many courts and judges are facing; the lack of justice in cases of enforced disappearances and torture; and unequal access to justice and the incredible cost for women and indigenous peoples that face impunity.

During the event, the Ebru Timtik Award was given by Diego García Sayán, former UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, to two distinguished female lawyers: Alicia de los Ríos and Ana Yeli Pérez Garrido. Alicia de los Ríos is a lawyer and historian who has dedicated her life to the search for her mother, a victim of enforced disappearance in the 1970s. Rios has demanded justice for her mother and the more than 100,000 other disappeared persons in Mexico. Ana Yeli Pérez Garrido is a lawyer who advocates for women’s rights. She has supported and represented women, girls and adolescents who have been victims of torture and sexual and family violence, as well as victims of femicide and attempted femicide.

Background

The International Fair Trial Day was established in 2021, with the endorsement of more than 100 legal associations across the world, to be observed every year on 14 June. It serves as an opportunity to raise awareness of the plight of those in countries where fair trial principles are not respected. The right to a fair trial has long been recognised by the international community as a fundamental human right.

The Ebru Timtik Award was created to honour the memory of a prominent female lawyer and member of the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD), who was sent to prison on 20 March 2019 in Türkiye after a trial where basic procedural safeguards were ignored. Her conviction was based on the testimony of anonymous witnesses, many of whom gave inconsistent testimony. The defects in the trial process, which was a further reflection of the systemic fair trial issues she had witnessed and fought against as a lawyer, led Ebru Timtik to commence a hunger strike while being in prison. On 27 August 2020 she passed away while continuing to protest the lack of respect for fundamental fair trial principles in the criminal justice system.

ENDS

Contact: IBAHRI@int-bar.org

Notes to the Editor

  1. Click here to download a copy of the 2023 International Fair Trial Day and Ebru Timtik Award Report.

  2. The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), established in 1995 under Founding Honorary President Nelson Mandela, is an autonomous and financially independent entity, working to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.

  3. Find the IBAHRI on social media here:

  4. The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world's bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.

  5. Find the IBA on social media here:

Website page link for this news release:

Short link: www.tinyurl.com/mrx2je3w

Full link: www.ibanet.org/Mexico-IBAHRI-and-17-international-civil-society-organisations-have-released-a-report-on-fair-trials-and-the-Ebru-Timtik-Award